A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked New York state’s vaccine mandate requiring all medical workers to be partially inoculated near the end of September.
Judge David Hurd issued the order after a group of 17 health care professionals alleged in a lawsuit their constitutional rights were infringed, arguing the mandate did not allow for religious exemptions, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the order Aug. 28, which gave staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, adult care and other congregate care settings, unless exempt, until Sept. 27 to get their shots.
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At the time, around 75 percent of 450,000 hospital workers and 68 percent of New York’s nursing home staff were fully vaccinated; 74 percent of the state’s adult care facility workers had completed their vaccinations.
Hurd gave the state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under President Biden’s recent vaccine guidelines, is expected to issue a rule requiring vaccines for workers in most health care facilities that are reimbursed for treatments covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
The state was averaging 4,750 new daily cases and more than 2,800 daily hospitalizations as of Sept. 13. Approximately 69 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 62 percent are fully vaccinated.
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