JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge in Louisiana has temporarily stopped a federal vaccine and mask mandate for Head Start programs in 24 states, according to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.
The multi-state lawsuit, which Georgia and Florida are a part of, said the federal mandates were unconstitutional. It also said that if the mandate were allowed to stand, thousands of Head Start staff nationwide risk losing their jobs and volunteers would be deterred from giving their time to the program.
Head Start is a federally-funded program that promotes school readiness for preschool-age children in underserved communities across the country.
The mandate on the program required staff, volunteers, and contractors to be vaccinated and required children older than 2 to wear a mask at all times except when eating, drinking, or napping. The only exemption available for children is if they have a disability that prevents them from wearing one.
The injunction granted Saturday temporarily halts those rules.
🚨 In response to our lawsuit, a federal court in LA has temporarily stopped the vaccine and masking mandate for Head Start programs in GA and 23 other states. In part, this mandate would have required that Head Start students two years and older be masked effective immediately.— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) January 1, 2022
The States of Louisiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wyoming, and West Virginia are all part of the multi-state lawsuit.