Schools in New York City have been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals judge from enforcing a vaccine order for its teachers and other staff.
Employees at the country’s largest school system will have to show proof of vaccination from Monday. But late Friday night, a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary injunction sought by a group of teachers and sent the case to a three-judge panel based on a speedy trial.
Education Department spokesman Daniel Filson said officials want a speedy solution and the proposal is on the circuit court’s Wednesday calendar.
Philson said in an email, “We are confident that our vaccine mandate will remain in place even after all information has been presented.
The New York Post reported that the department sent an email to principals Saturday morning saying that “they should continue preparations for the possibility of the vaccine order taking effect over the weekend.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that about 18,000 school staff would receive at least the first dose of the Covid-1 vaccine by September 27. The policy includes teachers as well as other staff such as custodians and cafeteria staff.
It is the first time in the country’s most populous city that a wide range of city workers have been ordered to be vaccinated against any test-option. And it reflects similar statewide orders for hospital and nursing home staff to take effect Monday.
As of Friday, 2% of departmental staff had been vaccinated, including 88% of teachers.
Although most school staff have been vaccinated, the New York City principal and the union representing teachers have warned that the school system for 10 million students, along with other staff, could still lack 10,000 teachers.
De Blasio resisted calls to delay the mandate, insisting the city was ready.
“We have planned all the time. We have a lot of options ready, ”the Democrat said in a radio interview Friday. “A lot is going to happen between now and Monday but beyond that, we are ready, even if thousands are needed, we have thousands.”