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Federal Court Blocks NYC’s Ban on Religious Exemptions for Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

A federal judge in upstate New York moved Tuesday to block the enforcement of New York City’s vaccine mandate for health care workers asking for a religious exemption.

“The vaccine mandate for health care workers, who do not have the option of receiving a weekly COVID-19 test instead of receiving the shots, is set to take effect on Sept. 27. But Judge David Hurd sided with a group of medical professionals who are challenging the law in federal court. The state Department of Health is temporarily barred from enforcement of the mandate on the grounds workers seeking a religious exemption,” reports NY1.

“Judge David N. Hurd just decided this in A. v. Hochul; it’s a temporary restraining order, to maintain the pre-mandate status quo until Sept. 28, when the preliminary injunction hearing will take place. (The mandate requires a vaccination by Sept. 27 for some covered employees and Oct. 7 for others, so its practical effect may be quite short, if the judge hands out a decision on the preliminary injunction at the hearing or shortly after it.) The order doesn’t give detailed reasons, but that’s not uncommon in such temporary orders,” reports Reason.

A series of new COVID vaccine mandates took effect in the Big Apple this week, applying to 30 different types of business.

The “passports” are required to enter restaurants, catering halls, event spaces, hotel banquet rooms, nightclubs, bars, coffee shops, gyms, pools, movie theaters, museums, sports arenas, arcades, bowling alleys, and fast food chains with indoor dining.

The “Key to NYC” program will remain in effect until further notice.

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