New York Goveror Kathy Hochul is applauding a decision by a federal appeals panel upholding the state's vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

The Associated Press reports the ruling late Friday, October 29 by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a judge in Utica who had temporarily blocked vaccination requirements on the grounds that the mandate did not accommodate religious exemptions.

In a brief order, a panel of three 2nd Circuit judges also upheld a ruling by a Brooklyn judge who had found the mandate constitutional. The appeals court said a written decision would follow at a later date.

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In a brief statement Friday, Democrat Hochul said “I pledged as Governor to battle this pandemic and take bold action to protect the health of all New Yorkers.  I commend the Second Circuit’s findings affirming our first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate, and I will continue to do everything in my power to keep New Yorkers safe.”

Another mandate goes into effect now. Office of Mental Health and Office of Persons With Developmental Disability-certified employees were given until November 1 to have at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine without a test-out option. Those who don't comply will not be allow to work for the state programs in areas like certified mental health hospitals, group homes and other facilities.

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