New York City schools have been temporarily blocked from enforcing a vaccine mandate for its teachers and other workers by a federal appeals judge just days before it was to take effect.
Monday was the scheduled date for the national school system’s worker mandate. Late Friday, however, a judge from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary order and referred the case for a three-judge panel.
Danielle Filson, spokesperson from the Department of Education said that officials were seeking a quick resolution by the circuit court.
Filson wrote in an email, “We are confident our vaccine mandate can continue to be upheld when all the facts have been present because that is the level protection our students deserve.”
According to the New York Post, the department sent principals an email Saturday morning advising them to “continue to prepare for the possibility of the vaccine mandate coming into effect later in this week.”
In August, Mayor Bill de Blasio stated that approximately 148,000 school employees must receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27. Teachers are included in the policy, as well as other staff members such as cafeteria workers, custodians, and cafeteria workers.
This is the first mandatory no-test-option vaccination policy for large numbers of city workers in the country’s largest city. The mandate mirrors one that is set to take effect Monday for workers in hospitals and nursing homes.
82% of department employees, including 88% teachers, were vaccinated by Friday.
Unions representing teachers and principals in New York City warned that even though the majority of school workers are vaccinated now, it could still mean that the school system with 1 million students is short up to 10,000 teachers.
De Blasio resisted attempts to delay the mandate, insisting that the city was ready.
“We have been planning all along. In a Friday radio interview, the Democrat stated that there are many substitutes. There is a lot going on between now and Monday, but we are prepared, even to the tune that we may need thousands of them.