On Friday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a mask mandate for businesses that do not require their patrons to be vaccinated starting Monday.
“I share New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic, but the winter surge is here & we must take action,” Hochul tweeted. “Starting Monday through January 15, businesses will have the option to implement either a vaccine or mask requirement.”
I share New Yorkers’ frustration that we are not past this pandemic, but the winter surge is here & we must take action.
Starting Monday through January 15, businesses will have the option to implement either a vaccine or mask requirement. 1/
— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) December 10, 2021
“My two top priorities are to protect the health of New Yorkers and to protect the health of our economy. The measures I’m announcing today will help accomplish this through the holiday season,” she added. “To the more than 80% of New Yorkers who have done the right thing to get fully vaccinated: Thank you. Let’s get more New Yorkers vaccinated so we can put this pandemic in the rearview mirror.”
In a press conference on Friday, Hochul told New Yorkers that she has “warned for weeks that additional steps could be necessary, and now we are at that point based upon three metrics: Increasing cases, reduced hospital capacity, and insufficient vaccination rates in certain areas.”
Those who do not comply with the order will face fines of up to $1,000 per violation. According to Hochul, the order was placed in response to rising hospitalization rates from COVID-19.
“The statewide seven-day average case rate has increased by 43% since Thanksgiving and hospitalizations are up 29% in that timeframe, the governor said. Vaccinations have increased 2% in that window, not enough to outpace the spread,” NBC News New York reported. “In total, COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide are at their highest levels since late April and have soared 86% in the last month alone, the latest data shows. Hochul and health experts say that’s a reflection of the still omnipresent grip of delta, which accounts for 99% of all genetically sequenced positive samples in New York — and the nation — and has been scientifically linked to more severe cases of infection.”
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TX Judge Blocks Biden’s Federal Employee COVID-19 Vax Mandate
A ruling came down from a Texas federal judge Friday saying President Joe Biden cannot mandate federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It also blocked the government from disciplining any employees for failing to comply.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Brown said the merit in question is whether Biden could “require millions of federal employees to undergo a medical procedure as a condition of their employment. That, under the current state of law as just recently expressed by the Supreme Court, is a bridge too far” he ruled.
Biden had issued an executive order requiring roughly 3.5 million workers to get vaccinated by November 22nd, unless religious or medical exemption was granted or face disciplinary action. In many cases, the consequence was to get fired.
Judge Brown, based in Galveston, was appointed by former President Donald Trump. He suggested less invasive measures could be implemented to protect the public such as masking and social distancing.
The Supreme Court temporarily blocked President Biden’s mandated vaccine-or-test policy, which began a landslide of large businesses disregarding any vaccination requirements. Starbucks was among the largest, well-known employer to do so.
Brown is not the only case to be in-line with the Supreme Court’s decision. In December, a mandate for employees of federal contractors to be vaccinated was blocked by a federal judge.
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