Coronavirus: Federal judge temporarily blocks NYC school vaccine mandate

NEW YORK — A federal appeals court on Friday night temporarily blocked New York City’s vaccine mandate for public school employees.

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The temporary restraining order against the nation’s largest school district was granted by a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, WABC reported.

The case will now go to a three-member panel as judges will review an appeal of Brooklyn federal court Judge Brian M. Cogan’s ruling on Thursday that upheld the mandate, according to the Staten Island Advance.

A group of teachers filed a lawsuit two weeks ago to block the vaccine requirement, the newspaper reported.

At least 90% of teachers and 95% of principals are already vaccinated, The New York Times reported. The rate is about 82% among staff members in school buildings, the newspaper reported.

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In a statement, the New York City Department of Education said it was confident that the case will be decided in its favor.

”We’re confident our vaccine mandate will continue to be upheld once all the facts have been presented, because that is the level of protection our students and staff deserve,” agency spokesperson Danielle Filson said. “Our current vax-or-test mandate remains in effect and we’re seeking speedy resolution by the Circuit Court next week. Over 82% of DOE employees have been vaccinated and we continue to urge all employees to get their shot by Sept. 27.”

The mandate, which was announced last month, affects more than 150,000 people working in the school system and was set to go into effect Monday at midnight, the Times reported.

According to the mandate, all educators, along with staff like custodians, school lunch helpers and safety agents, must receive at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine by Monday night, according to the newspaper.

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