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Photo: Paul Marotta via Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday blocked a challenge to New York City's vaccine requirement for public school teachers and employees, allowing the mandate to remain in place.

Why it matters: Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in August that all 148,000 staff members of the largest U.S. school district would need to submit proof of at least one dose of a COVID vaccine or risk unpaid leave until September 2022.

  • The deadline was pushed to 5 p.m. EDT on Oct. 1 after a lower court temporarily blocked the order.
  • With the order now lifted, a group of four teachers and teaching assistants petitioned the Supreme Court to bar enforcement of the mandate while litigation is ongoing in lower courts.
  • Sotomayor rejected the emergency request without providing an explanation. She also did not refer the case to the full nine-member court for review.
  • Justice Amy Coney Barrett made a similar decision in August when she rejected a request to block Indiana University's vaccine mandate.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 9, 2022 - Health

Chicago Public Schools' reopening remains in limbo as talks break down

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Chicago Public Schools and Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Saturday jointly rejected the latest proposal from the Chicago Teachers Union in the ongoing dispute over whether remote learning should resume amid the latest surge in COVID cases fueled by the Omicron variant.

The latest: Lightfoot confirmed via Twitter Sunday evening that negotiations between the two sides are ongoing and that an agreement has not yet been reached.

Updated Jan 8, 2022 - Health

Amazon cuts COVID-19 leave time for U.S. employees

A sign outside an Amazon Go store at the Amazon.com Inc. headquarters on May 20 in Seattle. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Amazon on Friday cut its paid leave policy for employees infected with COVID-19 from 10 days to 7 following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's change in quarantine guidance.

Driving the news: The new policy is effective immediately and applies to all U.S. employees, regardless of vaccination status, according to a memo sent to employees, which was viewed by Axios.

Jan 8, 2022 - Health

At-home COVID test prices rise at Walmart and Kroger

An Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 antigen self test. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

BinaxNOW at-home COVID-19 tests at Walmart and Kroger will see a rise in prices after a deal with the White House expired in mid-December.

Driving the news: BinaxNOW, one of the first at-home tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration, has become increasingly popular over the last month due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.