New York state health care workers will no longer have religious exemption to Covid-19 vaccine mandate, court rules | News


New York State well being care employees will not have a non secular exemption to the state’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate after a federal appeals courtroom vacated a brief injunction Friday.

The three-judge panel within the US Courtroom of Appeals for the Second Circuit additionally despatched the 2 courtroom instances again to the decrease courts to proceed.

The continuing courtroom instances stem from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order that each one hospital and long-term care facility employees had been required to get no less than one dose of the vaccine by September 27.

CNN has reached out to the New York State Division of Well being for remark, and particulars of what number of exemptions the state has already supplied.

An lawyer for plaintiffs in one of many instances vowed to take the case to the US Supreme Courtroom Friday.

“New York’s mandate forces an abominable selection on New York healthcare employees: abandon their religion or lose their careers,” stated lawyer Cameron Atkinson, who represents three nurses. “They’ve dedicated their futures to God’s fingers, and we stay optimistic that america Supreme Courtroom will strike down New York’s discriminatory mandate as violating the First Modification.”

Within the second case, 17 well being care employees, lots of them unnamed medical doctors, residents and nurses, filed a lawsuit final month objecting to the New York State Division of Well being’s vaccine mandate, which did not permit for non secular exemptions. A decide issued a brief restraining order on September 14 associated to the non secular exemptions.

CNN reached out to an lawyer representing these well being care employees for response.

Gov. Kathy Hochul praised the courtroom’s resolution.

“On Day One, I pledged as Governor to battle this pandemic and take daring motion to guard the well being of all New Yorkers,” Hochul stated in an announcement. “I commend the Second Circuit’s findings affirming our first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate, and I’ll proceed to do every thing in my energy to maintain New Yorkers protected.”

Spiritual exemptions granted to virtually 16,000 employees earlier than ruling, official stated

Practically 16,000 well being care staff in New York State have been granted non secular exemptions by their employers previous to Friday’s courtroom ruling, the state’s well being division confirmed to CNN Friday evening.

That is 15,844 staff of hospitals, nursing properties, grownup properties, Licensed Dwelling Well being Businesses (CHHA), Licensed Dwelling Care Service Businesses (LHCSA) and hospice services, stated Jeffrey Hammond, deputy director of communications for the New York State Division of Well being.

Hammond supplied a breakdown of the info, together with the variety of staff and percentages of workers impacted in every well being care group.

• Hospitals (as of October 26)​: 6,433 staff (1.3%)

• Licensed Dwelling Well being Businesses (as of October 26): 505 staff (4%), of which, 365 are direct care workers

• Licensed Dwelling Care Service Businesses (as of October 26): 5,573 staff(2.1%), of which, 5,070 are direct care workers

• Hospice (as of October 26): 94 staff (2%), of which, 70 are direct care workers

• Nursing Properties (as of October 29): 2,684 staff (1.8%), of which, 1,935 are direct care workers

• Grownup Properties (as of October 29): 555 (2%), of which, 309 are direct care workers

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