A U.S. Federal Appeals Court temporarily halted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s vaccine mandate for the Department of Education blocking officials from enforcing the order which required all adult school staff to get inoculated against COVID-19.
The mandate, which was originally set to go into effect Monday morning, would have forced almost all 150,000 central and school-based staff like teachers, principals, janitors, and school lunch workers to submit proof of having gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to the department by midnight Sept. 27.
But on Friday a judge for the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction against the mandate and referred the case to a three-judge panel. The case has been calendared for review by the Circuit for this Wednesday, Sept. 29.
Although the majority of DOE staff is at least partially vaccinated, some school staff and labor unions have worried the mandate would cause a school staffing shortage of up to 10,000 employees prompting the city´s principal and teacher union to call on City officials to delay the mandate.
On Monday, de Blasio said he was “very, very confident” the injunction would be lifted during the hearing scheduled later for this week and that the order would go into effect by this Friday, Oct. 1.
“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,” said DOE spokesperson Danielle Filson who added that over the weekend 8,000 DOE staffers got a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the mandate’s deadline.
About 87% of all DOE staff, 90% of public school teachers, and 97% of public school principals have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine officials said Monday.
In response to the blocked order, all DOE employees are subject to the City´s earlier vax-or-test mandate.
“In the course of this week, we are very, very confident the City’s department of education is going to prevail because we are trying to protect kids, we’re trying to protect families and we’re trying to protect working people in our school,” said de Blasio Monday morning.
This article appears courtesy of our sister publication amNewYork.