On Thursday, the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees but upheld the ruling for federally financed healthcare workers.
All personnel at hospitals and other facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments must be adequately vaccinated under the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. According to the White House, this impacts more than 17 million healthcare professionals.
Workers at all organizations with at least 100 employees would have been forced to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or produce a weekly negative test under the rejected mandate. According to the Supreme Court’s decision, the rule issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would have covered roughly 84 million workers.
The mandate was temporarily blocked by a federal appeals panel in Louisiana in November before being reinstated after a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati in December. Louisiana, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, and Mississippi joined with businesses, religious, and advocacy organizations to file for a permanent injunction against it.
According to the New York Times, the Supreme Court voted 6 to 3 on Thursday to prohibit the employee mandate, while 5 to 4 voted to maintain the healthcare worker mandate. According to the New York Times, members of the court’s conservative majority had previously expressed doubts that the White House had congressional power to impose the rules.
Due to the advent of the highly infectious omicron form, COVID-19 infections are rapidly increasing across the United States. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 155,000 patients are being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals around the country. As a result, president Joe Biden announced on Thursday that military medical personnel would be deployed to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Rhode Island, and New Mexico to assist hospitals in treating COVID patients.
States and cities have imposed their COVID-19 vaccine obligations outside of federal guidelines, such as in Philadelphia, where all city workers must be vaccinated by Jan. 14. Governor Kathy Hochul of New York joined California and New Mexico in enacting a booster mandate for all state healthcare workers on Friday.