GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – (KREX) As the deadline for health care professionals to get vaccinated draws closer, more Mesa County residents spent their weekend voicing their concerns on the mandate.

In downtown Grand Junction, community members continue protesting the COVID-19 vaccine mandate while practicing their first amendment freedoms.

Protestors included concerned residents and health care professionals, all fighting for the freedom to choose. “I am not going to get it, I’ll loose my job in a couple more weeks here and so will several other people that I work with,” Susan McChesney, Health care professional said.

Community members of all ages gathered for a peaceful protest against the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Those that participated included residents that are vaccinated and those that choose to remain unvaccinated, but as a group they are promoting the freedom to choose while uniting the community during this time of division in Mesa County and the Nation as a whole. “We need to bring people together you know those that are vaccinated and unvaccinated because I am concerned there is a huge division happening in this country right now and we are not going to allow that to happen, Darlene Leinberger, resident said. “We are going to support each others decision and love each other unconditionally regardless if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated.”

Public health data shows 52% of the eligible population in Mesa County has received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is well below the states total of 77%

While the deadline for all health care professionals to get vaccinated by November 1st approaches, some protestors are concerned about what’s to come, as local hospitals could face a shortness of staff if a large portion of health care workers choose not to get vaccinated. “Our patients, the ones we are caring for are going to be left with a lot less people to take care of them and our coworkers who have gotten the vaccine or have gotten exemptions and are staying, they are going to be left with the fall out of that and will have tons of work and not nearly enough help,” McChesney said.