Federal judge delays vaccine mandate for New York City teachers and staff
New York City’s vaccination mandate for education department employees was put on hold after a federal judge on Friday night temporarily blocked it, officials said.
The requirement to receive at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine was set to take effect close of business Monday, with unvaccinated staffers barred from entering schools on Tuesday and faced with unpaid leave. But a federal appeals court granted an injunction that is expected to remain in place until a panel of three judges reviews the case Wednesday.
Administrators have been bracing for staff shortages, since a sizable minority of teachers, school safety agents, and other staff still haven’t received the vaccine. At least 87% of teachers are vaccinated, according to city officials. Rates are thought to be much lower for other essential school staff, however, and the principals union said some large schools have dozens of unvaccinated teachers. As of Friday, about 30,000 education department staffers still hadn’t submitted proof that they had received their shot.
Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter wrote to principals on Saturday morning that the education department is confident the mandate will ultimately stand.
She reminded staff that the city’s vaccination-or-test requirement stands, which calls for unvaccinated staffers to submit weekly, negative coronavirus tests.
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