Two University of Wisconsin (UW) campuses have paused their employee COVID vaccine mandates following a federal judge blocking the Biden administration requirement for federal employees to be vaccinated. The UW-Madison and the UW-Milwaukee are the two campuses that are pausing the mandate effective immediately.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported, “Judge R. Stan Baker, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump, issued the Dec. 7 injunction in response to a lawsuit brought by several contractors and conservative states.” Baker said that the courts “must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities.”
UW-Madison announced on its website that, “The university is pausing the mandatory COVID vaccine requirement due to a recent federal court decision in which a nationwide injunction to the vaccine mandate was issued.”
The school had previously required all employees and “not only those who directly work on federal contracts” to have obtained the COVID vaccine by January 4, 2022.
“About 96% of UW-Madison employees are already vaccinated. About 1,600 employees still have yet to provide proof of vaccination, university spokesperson Meredith McGlone said Tuesday,” The Wisconsin State Journal reported.
UW-Milwaukee wrote in an announcement that it will no longer be requiring the vaccine, saying, “A federal court has issued an injunction that blocks a federal vaccination mandate for employees that is part of the Executive Order covering workplaces with federal contracts and subcontracts.”
UW-Milwaukee explained that its testing and masking requirements will stay in place and they continued to encourage employees to submit proof of vaccination.
Masking is required on both campuses regardless of vaccination status, and UW-Stevens Point requires unvaccinated employees and students to complete a health questionnaire. UW-Superior is also offering the chance to win $7,000 scholarships to students who are vaccinated against COVID.
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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Navy Cdr. Mike Paul, a Doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Receives a COVID-19 Vaccine” by U.S. Secretary of Defense. CC BY 2.0.