NEW YORK (WKBW) — During a COVID-19 briefing Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said 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 Monday deadline for those workers to be vaccinated.
On September 14, a federal judge in Utica issued a temporary restraining order blocking the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for health care workers in New York State that is set to go into place on Monday, September 27. A group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated. Corey Hogan, an attorney at HoganWillig Attorneys at Law, said the complaint is focused on the fact that the vaccine mandate only allows for a medical exemption and does not allow for a religious exemption.
Tuesday, a federal judge extended the temporary restraining order until October 12 for health care workers seeking a religious exemption.
Taking a question from a reporter during a COVID-19 briefing Thursday, Hochul said the temporary restraining order has no impact on the Monday deadline:
Yes we are in court on that on Tuesday, and no that does not prohibit us from exercising this. That is a very limited class of individuals who are claiming that, I believe there is actually 14 or 17 plaintiffs in that case, limited number of people. That has no bearing on our strict deadline of Monday. Again maybe I'm optimistic that's how I always am, that people will realize that this is serious, that there is not going to be change in my position, because I'm not going to do anything that will compromise the health of the people of this state that I'm charged to protect. I believe it's critically important for our health care workers to be as healthy as they can before they attend to the health of others, that's what this is all about.
The governor said the state is in constant communication with the unions that represent health care workers and will announce a plan for what will happen on Monday.