The federal judge in Utica that issued the temporary halt of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers has ruled that the exemption on religious grounds must continue to be accepted.

Judge David Hurd issued a temporary restraining order a month ago after 17 doctors, nurses and other health professionals claimed in a lawsuit that their rights would be violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions.

His ruling means that employers in the state of New York can no longer enforce any requirement of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine if someone cites religious exemption.

This story is continuing to develop and we will provide more information as soon as we are able.


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According to the Watertown Daily Times, hospital Chief Executive Officer Gerald R. Cayer spoke at a news conference on Friday afternoon in the county board room, stating that 30 people have resigned from their health care roles since the vaccine was mandated on August 23, 20 of whom worked in clinical positions like nurses, therapists and technicians, totaling 70% of the resignations so far. That number has likely gone up since the vaccine mandate deadline has approached.

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