Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate temporarily blocked by court

Sarah Tew/CNET
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A federal appeals panel in Louisiana has temporarily blocked a rule announced Thursday by the Biden administration that would require employees at large companies to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or produce a weekly negative COVID test.

On Saturday, a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a temporary stay after several states, including Louisiana and Texas, joined with religious and advocacy organizations and a group of businesses to file a petition Friday for a permanent injunction against the rule.

The petitioners say the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t have the authority to enact the mandate. The panel has given the administration till the end of the day Monday to file its response to the petition.

The vaccine mandate would apply to private sector companies with 100 or more employees, as well as federal contractors and health care workers. Employees would have till Jan. 4, 2022, to get all their required COVID shots. After that, they’d need to get the weekly test.

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