Federal vaccine mandate lifted from Head Start preschool programs | VailDaily.com

Federal vaccine mandate lifted from Head Start preschool programs

Recent court ruling vacates mandate for all Head Start employees

Eagle County School District and the Early Childhood Education Department, which participates in various Head Start programs, will lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for its Head Start staff immediately after a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all Head Start and Early Head Start staff was struck down nationwide.

Judge James Wesley Hendrix of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas vacated the vaccine mandate on March 31.

The district has 14 classrooms that provide services funded by Head Start located at the Edwards Early Learning Center, Eagle Valley Elementary, Gypsum Elementary, Homestake Peak Elementary and Red Hill Elementary.

“With the current staffing challenges our industry faces, this is a welcomed decision that we hope will translate into the hiring of more early childhood teachers,” said Shelley Smith, the director of early childhood education. “This will not change our commitment to the health and welfare of our staff and students, that will continue to be our top priority.”

With the ruling, the mandate cannot be enforced in any state, territory or tribal community. In November 2021, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which runs the Head Start programs, issued a mandate requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for all staff by the end of January 2022.

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