For most of us, the last 18 months have been some of the hardest we’ve weathered in our careers. You have stood strong during this time and performed exceptional work in protecting those we serve from the deadly COVID-19 virus. My gratitude for your efforts is immeasurable.  

As all of you know, the delta variant is rolling through this state and country with tragic results, and if we do not do everything within our power to stop it, we will have failed those we serve and one another. Given the continued spread of COVID-19 and the delta variant, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to mandate vaccines for staff in our 24/7 facilities. This is the hardest decision of my career, but I know it is the right thing to do. We know many of you are already vaccinated, and some of you have chosen not be vaccinated. In order to protect our clients and one another, everyone must be vaccinated.

Please take a moment to watch this message from me and Gov. Polis.

Gov. Jared Polis and Executive Director Michelle Barnes talk about why the State and CDHS are requiring COVID-19 vaccines.

Specifically, this requirement applies to all CDHS direct care and support staff who regularly enter CDHS facilities, including all leadership positions at CDHS who may interact with facility staff such as the executive director, deputy executive directors, office directors, division directors and executive leaders within divisions.  

Proof of vaccination will be required for temporary staff and contractors who regularly enter our facilities and interact with our clients. This includes but is not limited to providers of occupational and physical therapy, education providers and security personnel.  

At this time, CDHS will not require proof of vaccination for visitors to our clients’ or professional service providers (lawyers, guardians ad litem, personal health providers).  

CDHS will permit medical and religious exemptions from the vaccination mandate after careful review. Please understand that anyone who is unvaccinated, regardless of approved exemption, will be required to follow different infection prevention protocols from vaccinated staff/contractors. Please refer to the FAQs on our vaccine mandate page for the timeline and information related to submitting a medical or religious exemption.

All CDHS direct care and support staff who regularly enter CDHS facilities, including all leadership positions at CDHS who may interact with facility staff, will be required to have their first COVID-19 vaccine shot by a specific date. The mandate will be rolled out over the next several months and the dates will vary depending on your facility. Each employee will be required to meet the specific dates for the facility that is their primary work location as of today. You can access that information by visiting the vaccine mandate page on the employee intranet.

We understand this is a significant shift and may cause questions. We are happy to answer or discuss any questions and concerns you may have. We also encourage you to talk with your primary care provider.

We will be hosting two town halls tomorrow for all staff. You can join and listen, ask questions, and get more information about our “why”.

  • 9-9:30 a.m. Sign up here. Submit questions anonymously here

  • 8-8:30 p.m. Sign up hereSubmit questions anonymously here

Please visit the vaccine mandate page on the employee intranet. You will find the timeline schedule, FAQs, and other information. We will be updating relevant information on that page as it comes up.

Thank you for all you do, 


Michelle Barnes
Executive Director


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CDHS - Communications · 1575 Sherman · Denver, CO 80203 · USA