A mandate requiring all New York City public school employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be allowed to go into place, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday evening, but will be temporarily available for thousands of unvaccinated workers. The relief may not last long.
The court granted an injunction blocking the mandate, which was due to take effect Monday, referring a trial challenging the mandate to a three-judge panel for “rapid review”.
According to Staten Island Advance, the review could be completed sometime later this week, meaning it is possible that the mandate could still hold on Monday.
The mandate requires all public school employees, including teachers, custodians and NYPD school safety agents, to have at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday night.
Unlike the current policy, it does not allow unvaccinated employees to continue working by submitting weekly negative test results.
“We are confident that our vaccine mandate will be upheld once all the facts are presented, as is the level of protection for our students and staff,” said NYC Department of Education spokeswoman Danielle Filson. The Associated Press.
More than 80% of school staff have been vaccinated, but that still leaves 28,000 school workers in the nation’s largest city who haven’t received a shot. New York Post. The broad mandate, not offering the option to submit a negative test, is the first of its kind for public employees in New York, and is supported by the United Federation of Teachers’ Union. Despite this, hundreds of teachers signed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the mandate, which was initially filed in Brooklyn federal court by Judge Brian M. Kogan rejected, leading to an appeal.
Federal judge strikes down vaccine mandate for NYC teachers (The Associated Press)
NYC mandates vaccines for all public school teachers and staff (Businesshala)
In Twist, Fed Appeals Court Pending Review of Temporary Block on NYC Teacher Vaccine Mandate (Staten Island Advance)