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U.S. District Court Issues Restraining Order on NY Vaccine Mandate Regulations

As HCA continues its efforts at all levels to press accommodations for home care, hospice agency and employee vaccination under the state’s adoption of an emergency regulatory mandate, the U.S. District Court for the Northern New York District took action entering into the fray today, granting petitioners with a temporary restraining order on the regulations.

The order and background can be viewed here.

The petition was filed by seventeen medical professionals employed in the state who allege that “their sincere religious beliefs compel them to refuse the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available.”

The named defendants are Governor Kathy Hochul, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard A. Zucker and State Attorney General Letitia James.

The plaintiffs allege that “this ‘vaccination mandate’ violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments, the Supremacy Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”

In issuing the restraining order, David N. Hurd, United States District Judge, requested that defendants file and serve all submissions in opposition to the plaintiffs’ request to proceed pseudonymously before Wednesday, September 22, 2021at 5:00p.m.; and that defendants show cause at an in-person oral argument to be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at the United States Courthouse in Utica, New York.

Evidence of the impact of the state’s vaccine mandate policy on services and the workforce are already surfacing. The issues are heavily the result of the manner in which the state is seeking to apply and implement the vaccine policy, and not merit of vaccination.

HCA’s Advocacy Efforts and Vaccine Mandate Impact Survey

HCA is joined by fellow sectors and by the state’s own Public Health and Health Planning Council in raising concerns about the need for supportive provisions for providers and employees within the vaccination policy. The press for change in the policy is increasing from all sides and the Governor raised the possibility of changes in her statements late last week, as chronicled in Monday’s edition of HCA’s Situation Report ( HCA Continues Push for Vaccine Policy Accommodations).

HCA issued an alert earlier today calling on all state certified home health agencies and licensed home care services agencies to complete and submit this survey on their agency’s health personnel vaccination status and volume of anticipated workforce losses due to the mandate. HCA urges all agencies to complete this vital survey to support our state and federal advocacy on vaccination policy!

Click here to access the survey.

HCA will provide additional details on today’s court action and on further material developments on vaccination actions overall as they become available.