New York City Announces COVID Vaccine Mandate On Private Employers

Steve Bittenbender, The Center Square

Outgoing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that private employers in the nation’s largest city will face a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for their workers.

The mayor made the surprise announcement on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and said the order will take effect Dec. 27, the last week of de Blasio’s term in office.

De Blasio tweeted that New York City was a leader in the recovery from the pandemic. The way to “beat the virus” is by requiring shots and providing incentives for those who get them.

“Now we’re taking another step towards the future – a private sector employee vaccine mandate,” he said on the social media site. “Together, we can save lives and move forward.”

This mandate is for all city employers and comes just one week after Omicron’s first variant was discovered in the nation. On Thursday, there were five confirmed cases in New York City. Another was in Minnesota. These are all the results of an individual who had attended an anime convention.

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On the weekend, there were 10 new variants in New Jersey.

De Blasio said that Dr. Dave Chokshi, Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner will officially announce the mandate on Monday. The mayor added other steps will be unveiled to let the city “focus on maximizing vaccinations quickly” to contain the Omicron variant.

It’s uncertain if New York City’s private employer mandate will include medical and religious exemptions like those found in the orders for municipal workers. This directive could still be subject to legal challenge.

New York City and New York State have been unable to enforce vaccine mandates. While the Biden Administration’s mandates have been blocked, at least temporarily, in federal courts, New York City has won cases on its mandates in state and federal courts.

On MSNBC, de Blasio said he’s confident the city will prevail because the city’s mandate will be universal.

“They’re about protecting the public right now from a clear and present danger,” he said.

Dec. 31 marks the end of de Blasio’s term. Eric Adams, the Mayor-elect, takes office on January 1.

A message to Adams’ transition team was not immediately returned Monday morning.

This article was Syndicated by permission of The Center Square.