Supreme Court blocks Biden COVID mandate requiring vaccine, testing at work. Here’s what we know.
The Supreme Court has blocked the Biden administration's COVID vaccine-or-testing mandate for employees at large businesses. How are workers impacted?That's because the Supreme Court Thursday halted the Biden administration's enforcement of the mandate, which would have taken effect Feb. 9 and covered two-thirds of the nation's private workforce, an estimated 84 million employees.
School districts responsible for hundreds of Virginia schools have indicated they will continue with mask mandates despite a new executive order from Governor Glenn Youngkin.
Youngkin, a Republican, issued an order on Saturday that effectively allows parents to exempt their children from mask requirements imposed by schools, one of his first acts as governor.
What This Pandemic Needs Is More Input From Congress
When pandemic policies change society, Congress should debate them.Critics of the decision have decried it as a deadly blow to an effective pandemic safeguard. Be that as it may, in our constitutional system, Congress is the body that should determine whether to impose a federal vaccine mandate. And generally, the United States would be better served if Congress voted on more federal pandemic policies, rather than ceding basic judgments about how society operates to the president or the federal agencies that he oversees.
Several school districts in the state said they would continue to impose mask requirements on students and staff despite Youngkin's order, which is set to take effect from January 24.
Youngkin's executive order states, in part: "The parents of any child enrolled in a elementary or secondary school or a school based early childcare and educational program may elect for their children not to be subject to any mask mandate in effect at the child's school or educational program."
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is the largest school district in Virginia and one of the largest in the U.S., overseeing 198 schools.
Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand said in a letter to the school community: "FCPS continues to require universal mask wearing in alignment with guidance. Our layered prevention strategies have proven effective in keeping transmission rates low in our schools."
Feehery: DC will become the inverse of West Berlin
Washington, D.C., will soon become the inverse of West Berlin. Instead of a shining example of western freedom in a sea of Communist authoritarianism, it will soon become a Democratic dystopia wedged in between two states run by Republican governors who value freedom, free enterprise, law and order and schools that work. Feehery is a partner at EFB Advocacy and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas), and as a speechwriter to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).
Brabrand was referring to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which currently recommends that all children over the age of 2 wear masks at school in indoor settings.
Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS), which is composed of 72 schools and program centers, also said it would continue to require mask wearing.
School Board Chairwoman Marcie Shea wrote that HCPS takes the "responsibility to support in-person teaching and learning very seriously."
"Masks, as part of layered mitigation strategies, are currently necessary to accomplish this," she wrote. "My board colleagues and I will always consider the latest health guidance and data to make decisions in the best interest of the Henrico community."
Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. sent a letter to families on Sunday saying that the district would keep its mask requirement in place as well as provide KN95 masks. The school district oversees 25 schools and programs.
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Arlington Public Schools, responsible for 41 schools and programs, also announced it would maintain the mask requirements.
"Arlington Public Schools will continue to require all staff and students to wear masks inside on school grounds and on buses, as part of our layered approach to safety," the district said. "Universal mask use has proven effective in keeping COVID-19 transmission rates low in our schools and ensuring schools remain safe and open.
"Arlington Public Schools implemented our mask requirement this school year prior to Governor Northam's K-12 mask mandate, and we will continue to make decisions that prioritize the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, following the guidance of local and national health professionals."
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras tweeted on Saturday that his district "will maintain its 100 percent mask mandate for students, staff, and visitors."
Kamras' school district is responsible for 53 schools and centers.
Youngkin was asked about Arlington Public Schools' decision on Saturday and told WTOP: "I hope they will listen to parents because we will use every resource within the governor's authority to explore what we can do and will do in order to make sure parents' rights are protected."
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Georgia Bill Would Give Schools 7 Days to Remove Material Parents Think Harmful to Minors .
Sen. Jason Anavitarte thought the bill would "create a process that the public would understand in terms of where to go if there was a concern with material."Senate Bill 225, would add a code to the Quality Basic Education Act that would implement a complaint resolution policy for local education boards to adopt if materials are deemed harmful to minors.