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COVID: Vaccine Mandate Deadline Arrives for San Francisco Workers

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The signs up at San Francisco bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor businesses that say "Vaccines required to enter" now apply to both customers and employees.

"If I'm going to go in and sit down with a bunch of people I don't know, maskless, to have a meal, it makes me more comfortable to know that everyone's been vaccinated," Kenny Lee said.

ALSO READ: Dozens of Unvaccinated San Francisco Police Officers, Firemen Face Deadline

When the city put the vaccine mandate in place, they gave employers about two months to ensure their employees were fully vaccinated.

"You know, it went over a lot easier than we anticipated," said Bob Partrite, the Chief Operating Officer of Simco Restaurants.

They operate six properties at Pier 39.

"Most of our staff complied and provided proof of vaccination. We only had about 3 employees that resigned due to the fact that they didn't want to get the vaccination," he said.

So in theory, everyone inside the restaurants, customers and staff, are vaccinated.

"This is probably as safe as it gets in the city of San Francisco since the pandemic," said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert with UCSF. "Really, that is as safe a space as you can get - a fully vaccinated place - for minimization of COVID-19 spread."

Partrite hopes the policy will help encourage more people to go out.

"All patrons and staff inside the dining rooms are vaccinated, I think it's a safe place to come," Partrite said.

Early Wednesday afternoon outside San Francisco City Hall, there were a handful of people protesting the COVID vaccine deadline that high-risk city workers including firefighters and police officers were facing.

At a Wednesday meeting of the San Francisco Fire Commission, KPIX learned from the fire chief's report that 41 active members of the SFFD are currently non-compliant. An SFPD source said there are 120 unvaccinated sworn officers and that some are seeking exemptions.

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