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Catholic Health workers citing religious exemption allowed to work until courts decide on mandate

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Posted at 2:03 PM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 14:03:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Catholic Health workers who have religious exemptions towards getting vaccinated will be allowed to work until courts make a decision on New York State's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reiterated that the temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge on the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for New York State health care workers does not impact the September 27 deadline for those workers to be vaccinated.

The temporary restraining order was issued on September 14 by a federal judge in Utica.

Catholic Health says it will place unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave of absence for 30 days starting on September 27, if that worker has not provided a medical exemption or requested a religious exemption prior to 9 p.m. on September 26.

According to Catholic Health, the healthcare group, "cannot evaluate requests for exemptions based on sincerely held religious beliefs until the courts make their final rulings, associates who request a religious exemption will be permitted to work until the courts decide whether healthcare providers can assess requests for religious accommodations."

The hospital group says 83 percent of employees are in compliance with the vaccine mandate, and will follow all COVID-19 safety guide