New York State appeals vaccine requirement ruling

ALBANY. N.Y. (WHEC) – New York has has filed a formal appeal of a court ruling upholding religious exemptions to the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

In his order Tuesday, federal Judge David Hurd said, "there is no adequate explanation from (the state) about why the ‘reasonable accommodation’ that must be extended to a medically exempt healthcare worker" like testing and masking "could not similarly be extended to a healthcare worker with a sincere religious objection."

He wrote that would not increase harm to patients "especially when (doctors and nurses) have been on the front lines of stopping COVID for the past 18 months while donning PPE."

The appeal was filed Friday by the N.Y. Attorney General’s office. Governor Kathy Hochul issued a statement applauding the A.G.’s challenge saying the state "…will continue to lead the nation in taking bold action on vaccines, which are our best weapons in defeating the virus."