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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Florida, other states fight Head Start COVID-19 vaccine mandates

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According to the lawsuit, the mandate forces vaccinations on staff, volunteers and others in contact with Head Start preschool students and forces masks on everyone age 2 and older. .

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody joined 23 other states Tuesday in challenging a Biden administration rule that includes requiring workers at Head Start preschool programs to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The states filed a 65-page lawsuit in the federal Western District of Louisiana. It raises a series of legal arguments to challenge the rule issued Nov. 30.

“The Head Start mandate applies to all preschool programs funded by the federal Head Start program, regulating hundreds of thousands of staff, volunteers, and preschool students nationwide,” the lawsuit said. “It forces vaccinations on staff, volunteers and others in contact with Head Start students and forces masks on everyone age 2 and up. It includes few exceptions, is projected to lead to tens of thousands of Head Start agency staff losing their jobs, and will cause programs to close or reduce capacity — achieving the very opposite result of its purported goal.”

The lawsuit is one of a series of challenges by Florida and other states to Biden administration COVID-19 rules.

Other challenges involve vaccination requirements for health care workers, employees of federal contractors and businesses with 100 workers or more.

Biden, in comments Tuesday about the fast-spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus, repeatedly emphasized a need for Americans to get vaccinated.

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