State Watch

Court rules New York can proceed with vaccine mandate for school workers

New York City is set to move forward with plans to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all school employees after a federal appeals court's ruling late Monday.

The court ruled in favor of Mayor Bill de Blasio's (D) mandate for all school employees to receive the vaccine, despite a lawsuit from four educators who opposed it

Under the new mandate, the nation's largest school system will require all employees to provide proof of at least one dose of the vaccine and will not accept regular testing in place of inoculations, according to The Washington Post.

New York City school officials told the newspaper that the requirement for all New York City school employees to have at least one shot will be delayed until Friday.

Nearly 13 percent of all school employees, 9 percent of all teachers and 3 percent of principals in the city have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus, school officials told the Post.

Employees who fail to get inoculated or provide a reason for exemption risk being removed from the city's payroll, the United Federation of Teachers said, according to the Post.

Mark Fonte, an attorney representing one of the four educators who sued to block the mandate, told the Post that he and his co-counsel plan to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for emergency relief. He also said he was "dismayed and disappointed by this turn of events."

"With thousands of teachers not vaccinated the City may regret what it wished for," Fonte wrote. "Our children will be left with no teachers and no security in schools."

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