Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New COVID-19 Mandates In New York Likely to Withstand Legal Challenges

Three vials of the Johnson and Johnson/ Janssen COVID-19 vaccine on a table.
New York City has instituted a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all private sector employees

Earlier this year it seemed like wide-ranging COVID-19 mandates from the New York state government were becoming a thing of the past. However, mandates are making a comeback this winter and they have a strong legal foothold.

A new mandate in New York Citywill require COVID-19 vaccinations for all private sector employees. The mandate, which will go into effect on December 27th

Tully Rinckey law partner Leslie Silva says this could be a model for other cities and counties statewide.

“If you’re in a in a county with a higher population and you see that this is working for Manhattan, you are going to want to also be doing this in your county,” she said. 

There is no private sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate of any kind in Onondaga County. The only occupations with vaccine mandates currently in place are employees of public schools and healthcare workers.

With New York City representing an anomaly in the state in terms of population density and the amount of local businesses, Silva says that local health departments will be the drivers of policies that match their county’s needs.

“The same needs are not statewide for promoting public health. So, I think we’re gonna follow a more local level and see what each county wants to do for their own public,” she said. 

If Onondaga County were to institute a similar vaccine mandate to NYC’s, Silva says both would be likely to hold up in court.

“That’s what the case law has shown us, so there is a likelihood of success for the mandate they’re putting in now,” she said. 

Silva said that cases in 2020 that ruled in favor of government mandates allowed the infringement on personal freedoms and choices in favor of protecting public health and safety.

In another effort to stave-off rising cases, the statewide mask mandate announced by the Governor’s office in all indoor public places is now in effect through January 15th. This applies to all people aged two and up.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.