COVID vaccine mandate dropped for city employees, visitors to NYC public schools

COVID vaccine mandate dropped for city employees, visitors to NYC public schools

Visitors to New York City’s public schools will no longer have to be vaccinated, ending a year-and-a-half-old rule that had kept some parents out of school functions, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday.

Adams also announced that COVID vaccines will no longer be required of city workers. That means that more than 1,700 employees who were fired for not complying with vaccine mandates can apply for open positions. As of last March, about 900 education department employees had been fired; a spokesperson did not provide a more recent figure.

That rule had invited various legal challenges and pressure from unions, including the United Federation of Teachers. Judges in several of these cases have sided with those who argued that the city’s rule was unlawful.

Vaccine requirements will also be lifted for private schools, early childhood programs, and daycare staff.

The changes will go into effect Feb. 10, after a vote from the city’s Board of Health, which is expected to approve the changes.

“With more than 96 percent of city workers and more than 80 percent of New Yorkers having received their primary COVID-19 series and more tools readily available to keep us healthy, this is the right moment for this decision,” Adams said in a statement. “I continue to urge every New Yorker to get vaccinated, get boosted, and take the necessary steps to protect themselves and those around them from COVID-19.”

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