Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected a request by four New York public school teachers to block Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure of requiring all Department of Education (DOE) staff to take COVID vaccines -19. The Bronx native said on Friday that the nation’s highest court would not hear the challenge, which sought to suspend the city’s order just before it came into full effect.
“Our vaccine requirement for New York school staff has now been reviewed by state, federal and Supreme Court courts and upheld,” tweeted Dr Dave Chokshi, municipal health commissioner, in response to the new. “Vaccination will ensure the safety of students and staff. “
Our vaccine requirement for New York school personnel has now been reviewed by state courts, federal courts, and the Supreme Court and upheld. The vaccination will ensure the safety of students and staff.https: //t.co/tfRPzSVU4r
The deadline for DOE staff to get at least one injection of a COVID-19 vaccine was originally September 27 – but was delayed due to a temporary suspension that a federal judge issued after A coalition of unions sued the city over its vaccination requirements for municipal workers. A federal appeals court cleared the warrant to go ahead on Monday night, and Mayor de Blasio set 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1 as the new deadline for DOE staff to get vaccinated, which means that it would be in place by the time classes resume next week.
As of Friday, at least 90% of all DOE employees had been vaccinated with at least one injection, according to city data. Among teachers, the rate was 93%, meaning that about 5,500 of the city’s 78,000 educators were still not meeting the mandate. About 98% of school principals have been vaccinated, with only about 30 refractory. About 500 DOE employees were granted medical or religious exemptions.
“Support systems are in place to ensure that schools have the staff they need to care for their students,” the DOE said in a statement sent Friday afternoon. This includes a pool of 9,000 vaccinated substitute teachers and 5,000 vaccinated substitute paraprofessionals, as well as new flexible funding allowing schools to hire additional staff as needed. “We also offer a financial incentive to all substitute teachers and substitute paraprofessionals in addition to their regular salary,” the DOE said.
The DOE added that it organized on-site vaccination clinics for eligible staff and students during the first two weeks of school.
Employees who have not uploaded proof of vaccination by the deadline will be placed on unpaid leave. But if they upload proof of vaccination over the weekend, they will be able to return to work on Monday without interruption, the DOE said.
Separately, a state mandate for healthcare workers increased immunization rates for the city’s nursing homes, but led some hospitals to temporarily suspend their services.