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OSHA withdraws workplace mandates for COVID-19 vaccines, tests

By Rich Klein
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OSHA withdraws workplace mandates for COVID-19 vaccines, tests
Marchers make their way to the Lincoln Memorial during a protest of vaccine mandates on the National Mall in Washington on Sunday. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Tuesday it is withdrawing its workplace mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it didn't have the authority to implement the rules.

OSHA said in a statement the rules, issued Nov. 5 for private employers with 100 or more employees, will be withdrawn starting Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, the agency said it will focus on finalizing a permanent standard for workplace protection against COVID-19.

"OSHA strongly encourages vaccination of workers against the continuing dangers posed by COVID-19 in the workplace," the agency said.

Under the original rules, large employers were ordered to ensure their workers fully vaccinated or received a negative COVID-19 test weekly to enter the workplace. The rules applied to some 80 million private-sector employees.

The administration filed a motion on Tuesday to ask the Supreme Court to dismiss existing lawsuits related to the mandates.

On Jan. 13, the Supreme Court said in its ruling, "Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly."

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The court let stand a vaccine requirement for healthcare workers at facilities that receive federal money.

Protesters march against COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Washington

Protesters make their way to the Lincoln Memorial during a demonstration against COVID-19 vaccine mandates on the National Mall in Washington on Sunday. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

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