Sept. 28, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City public school teachers and staff must get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.
De Blasio moved the deadline to 5 p.m. Friday after a federal appeals court lifted an injunction that had temporarily halted the city mandate that was set to take effect Monday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted the temporary injunction last week ahead of the city’s original Monday deadline. The court, however, ruled to lift the injunction Monday evening.
“We readjusted the timing because we had the delay in court,” de Blasio said. “We’re giving all of our employees up until Friday at 5 o’clock [to be vaccinated].”
As of Monday morning, 87 percent of all Department of Education employees have had at least one dose of the vaccine — leaving 13 percent who still need to get a shot or face unpaid leave.
“For anyone who has not gotten a dose by Friday at 5 p.m., … we’re going to then assume you’re not coming to work Monday morning and we will immediately find a substitute,” de Blasio said. “Then those folks [who chose not to get vaccinated] will go on leave without pay.”
The percentage of DOE employees’ vaccinated, however, is higher among teachers and principals. According to the latest DOE numbers, 90 percent of teachers and 97 percent of principals have gotten at least one shot.
About 7,000 of the more than 130,000 DOE staffers—a group that includes food service and custodial workers—got vaccinated just last Friday and Saturday in anticipation of the mandate, de Blasio said.
The mayor said the numbers are encouraging.
“For everyone — especially for parents and kids — this should be a real sense of relief to see the numbers are already so high,” he said. “That says great things about our ability to have a safe school system and keep everything moving really, really well for our kids.”
Union leaders, however, have called on the mayor to push the mandate deadline back even further as they worry about potential staffing shortages.