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    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Nearly 11% of Los Angeles’ 57,476 city employees have stated their intent to seek a religious or medical exemption from the city’s mandate that employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data released by the city Tuesday. About half of the percentage comes from the Los Angeles Police Department, which has 2,651 employees planning to file for religious exemptions and 368 planning to file for medical exemptions. READ MORE: Report: Nearly 3,000 LAPD Employees Seek Exemptions To Vaccine Mandate According to an internal memo sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti from the city’s personnel department, 2,651 Los Angeles Police Department employees intend to seek religious exemptions and 368 plan to seek medical exemptions for the mandate requiring all city employees to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, the city’s personnel department reported that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has 11,643 employees, 30% of which are fully vaccinated. The City of Los Angeles’ Parks & Recreation Department has 38% of employees vaccinated and the Los Angeles Fire Department has 3,712 employees, 34% of which are vaccinated. The city’s...
    Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, a growing number of parents nationwide are seeking medical exemptions for their children in school districts that mandate masks . In Tennessee , where at least 20 school districts were closed in one week due to coronavirus, opt-out requests have continued to pour in. An initial mask mandate in Williamson County allowed parents to opt out on religious or medical grounds. The state's GOP governor then signed an executive order allowing parents to decide whether their children should wear a mask. The move created an immediate bump in the number of students who showed up to school maskless. BIDEN PLAYS POLITICS WITH MASKS IN SCHOOLS Last week, almost all high schools in the county with enrollments of more than 1,000 students had exemption rates of 30% or higher, according to the Tennessean. Page High School was the highest, with an opt-out rate of more than 49%. All but two of the district's 11 middle schools reported more than 25% of its students opting out, while 64% of its 28 elementary schools had more...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that the department will wait for instructions from city officials after it was reported that thousands of LAPD employees plan to use religious or medical exemptions for the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. “We have seen a number of our personnel who have filed for an intent to have an exemption, based on either medical or sincerely held religious belief,” Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission. “The department will wait for the city to provide instructions relative to the interpretation and what will happen to those intentions to file.” READ MORE: Steve Martin, Jim Carrey & Fellow Comedians React To Death Of Norm Macdonald On Monday, The Los Angeles Times reported that 2,600 Los Angeles Police Department employees intend to seek religious exemptions and 350 plan to seek medical exemptions for the mandate requiring all city employees to get vaccinated. Non- exempt employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 5, and exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Those who have exemptions must be tested for COVID-19...
    UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A federal judge temporarily blocked the state of New York on Tuesday from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated because the state’s mandate disallowed religious exemptions. Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, claimed in a lawsuit Monday that their rights were violated with a vaccine mandate that disallowed the exemptions. The judge gave New York state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit in federal court in Utica. The state issued the order Aug. 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by Sept. 27. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Thousands of state employees and health care workers in California are planning to avoid Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new coronavirus vaccine mandates, either by seeking exemptions, or resisting the new policy altogether in a show of defiance. The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that roughly 25% of the LAPD workforce plans to avoid the vaccine mandate: More than 2,600 LAPD employees have indicated that they plan to pursue religious exemptions, while more than 350 plan to seek medical ones, according to a source in city government who was not authorized to share the preliminary data. Under the ordinance, city employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 5 unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Employees who receive exemptions will be subject to regular testing for the coronavirus, according to the ordinance. City officials pushed back a deadline last week for employees to seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement, instead giving workers until the end of Monday to indicate that they plan to pursue an exemption. As of early evening on Monday, nearly 3,000 of 12,311 LAPD employees had done...
    Thousands of Los Angeles Police Department employees plan to seek exemptions to rules requiring city employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to preliminary figures obtained Monday by The Times. More than 2,600 LAPD employees have indicated that they plan to pursue religious exemptions, while more than 350 plan to seek medical ones, according to a source in city government who was not authorized to share the preliminary data. Under the ordinance, city employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 5 unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Employees who receive exemptions will be subject to regular testing for the coronavirus, according to the ordinance. City officials pushed back a deadline last week for employees to seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement, instead giving workers until the end of Monday to indicate that they plan to pursue an exemption. As of early evening on Monday, nearly 3,000 of 12,311 LAPD employees had done so, and the number could grow before a midnight cutoff. Preliminary figures were not available for other city departments. The numbers indicate how many...
    At least 1,700 medical workers in San Diego County have filed for COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions. Last week, President Joe Biden announced a new series of mandates including a requirement that all health care employees get vaccinated against the virus. However, the White House said that Americans will be allowed to request an exemption on 'narrow and specific' religious grounds.    A new survey conducted by the San Diego Union-Tribune found that thousands of workers in the county are asking that they be excluded from the mandate for religious reasons. No major denomination opposes vaccines, but religious exemption claims are on the rise across the U.S. as more healthcare workers say they don't want to be forced to get the shot. At least 1,700 healthcare workers in San Diego County have asked for COVID-19 vaccine mandate exemptions due to religious reasons. Pictured: Occupational Health Nurse Maureen Finnegan (left) gives Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine shot to Dr Heather Pierce, a pediatric hospitalist at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, December 2020 It comes after President Joe Biden announced a new series of...
    "That will be an area that we continue to monitor in the days and weeks ahead," Murthy added. Across various interviews on Sunday talk shows, Murthy defended the vaccine mandate and insisted the Biden administration holds sufficient legal authority to enforce it. Abuse of exemptions, however, will be the least of the Biden administration's worries. Not only is the mandate going to be challenged in court, but Republican governors and business leaders have vocalized their opposition to the mandate and have threatened to sue Biden. Biden was asked about the legal threats on Friday, to which he replied, "Have at it."
    U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has advised that the Biden administration will "monitor" to ensure no one abuses COVID-19 vaccine exemptions. President Biden last week announced a mandate that required any company with at least 100 employees to mandate its workforce. The only way to avoid the mandate is to claim an exemption on either religious or medical grounds.  Some critics argue that the exemptions allow for simple abuse, but Murthy insists the administration will ensure that does not happen.  "Unfortunately, as a country, we have experience in dealing with exemptions, but we've got to be vigilant there and make sure that people are using them, you know, in the spirit that they're intended and not abusing them or asking for exemptions when they don't apply," Murthy told CNN’s "State of the Union." "That's an area that we continue to monitor in the days and weeks ahead." Biden’s vaccine mandate has met immediate opposition from Republican governors, who made clear that they plan to oppose the mandate with legal action if necessary after claiming the mandate was "unconstitutional."  CORONAVIRUS...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Some Pennsylvania physicians are offering stock doctor’s notes for use by parents wishing to have their children exempted from wearing masks in school, according to state health officials who say they have referred the matter for possible disciplinary action. A statewide, universal mask mandate for Pennsylvania schools went into effect Tuesday as the Wolf administration seeks to keep school buildings open for in-person learning amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. READ MORE: Mount Holly Man Charged With Murder In Slaying Of Man Found Behind Burlington County Convenience Store The acting health secretary’s face covering order contains an exemption for students for whom wearing a mask would cause or worsen a medical condition. But parents in districts that require a doctor’s note or other medical documentation have complained it’s been difficult to find a physician who will sign off. The Health Department said some doctors are pushing stock exemptions that are available to anyone, regardless of medical necessity. Health officials did not immediately say how many doctors have offered such notes. “The administration...
    LEECHBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – Some Pennsylvania physicians are offering stock doctor’s notes for use by parents wishing to have their children exempted from wearing masks in school, according to state health officials who say they have referred the matter for possible disciplinary action. A statewide, universal mask mandate for Pennsylvania schools went into effect Tuesday as the Wolf administration seeks to keep school buildings open for in-person learning amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. READ MORE: Pennsylvania GOP Aims To Advance Election ‘Investigation’ With Subpoenas The acting health secretary’s face covering order contains an exemption for students for whom wearing a mask would cause or worsen a medical condition. But parents in districts that require a doctor’s note or other medical documentation have complained it’s been difficult to find a physician who will sign off. The Health Department said some doctors are pushing stock exemptions that are available to anyone, regardless of medical necessity. Health officials did not immediately say how many doctors have offered such notes. “The administration is aware that some physicians have indicated...
    In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25. With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs. No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.” And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many...
    (KHN)In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will "help you articulate a religious exemption" by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested "donation" starting at $25.With workplace vaccine mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a covid-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs.No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels "respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination." Biden to announce that all federal workers must be vaccinated, with no option for testingAnd if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon,...
    United Airlines is giving five more weeks to employees who sought, and in some cases were granted, a company exemption from getting vaccinated against COVID-19 on religious or medical grounds. After that, they could be fired or put on unpaid leave. The airline's 67,000 U.S.-based workers face a September 27 deadline to get their shots. United says more than half its employees who weren't vaccinated last month have done so since the company announced that vaccine requirements. Requests for medical exemptions at United are judged by medical staffers including nurses, while requests for waivers based on religious beliefs are handled by personnel-office employees, according to the carrier. Kirk Limacher, United's vice president of human resources, made the statement about vaccinations Wednesday in memos to employees that spell out how United will handle requests for exemptions. Under labor law, employers have the right to set their terms and conditions of employment — if a worker doesn't comply, a company can give them the ax. This also applies for COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Since the Food and Drug...
    CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines says that more than half its employees who weren’t vaccinated last month have gotten their shots since the company announced that vaccines would be required. The airline’s 67,000 U.S.-based employees face a Sept. 27 deadline for getting vaccinated. United said Wednesday, however, that employees whose bids for exemptions based on medical reasons or religious beliefs are denied will get five more weeks to get vaccinated. READ MORE: Wife Remembers Husband, Beloved Pastor 20 Years After 9/11 After that, the airline said, they will face termination or unpaid leave. Kirk Limacher, United’s vice president of human resources, made the statement about vaccinations Wednesday in memos to employees that spell out how United will handle requests for exemptions. United declined to say exactly how many employees have recently been vaccinated, what percentage of the workforce is now vaccinated, or how many workers requested an exemption. The airline said it will have enough workers to operate its schedule this fall and into the holidays. The airline said that in most cases, employees who refuse to get vaccinated won’t...
    (CNN)Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second largest, is set to vote on mandating Covid-19 vaccines for all eligible students in a special meeting Thursday afternoon. "By the start of spring semester, every student 12 and up who is eligible and doesn't have an exemption will have received a vaccine," LAUSD school board member Tanya Ortiz Franklin told CNN affiliate KCBS/KCAL, adding the district will be providing the vaccines. According to a report included with an online copy of Thursday's agenda, all students who are 12 or older and are attending school in-person would be required to have received their first dose no later than November 21 and be fully vaccinated by December 19. Students participating in extracurricular activities in-person would need to be fully vaccinated by the end of October. The report says "students with qualified and approved exemptions and conditional admissions" would be excluded from the mandate, but it doesn't provide additional detail about potential exemptions.Board member Jackie Goldberg said the mandate was "to save lives," KCBS/KCAL reported. Read More"That's why there isn't measles and mumps and...
    PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There’s a lot of questions just a day after the state’s mask mandate went into effect for schools across the commonwealth. One of those concerns is mask exemptions. READ MORE: UPMC Says An Alarming Number Of COVID Patients Are In Their 20s And 30s “Masks are one of the best tools we have to keep students in class and Covid out,” said Governor Tom Wolf. A day after the state’s mask mandate for K-12 schools went into effect, Dr. Todd Wolynn of Kids Plus Pediatrics in Squirrel Hill said he’s been fielding a lot of calls from parents who want their kids to opt-out. “There’s a lot of disinformation out there and just because somebody wants one doesn’t mean you can get an exemption,” Dr. Wolynn said. Dr. Wolynn said if you want your student exempt from wearing a mask, you should be given the OK by a medical professional like your primary care doctor. “We have been told there are school districts creating their own version of an exemption and telling parents if you don’t want...
    United Airlines said Wednesday that more than half its employees who weren’t vaccinated last month have gotten their shots since the company announced that vaccines would be required. The airline’s 67,000 U.S.-based employees face a Sept. 27 deadline for getting vaccinated or face termination or unpaid leave. Kirk Limacher, United’s vice president of human resources, made the statement about vaccinations Wednesday in memos to employees that spell out how United will handle requests for exemptions from the shots based on medical reasons or religious beliefs. United declined to say exactly how many employees have recently been vaccinated, what percentage of the workforce is now vaccinated, or how many workers requested an exemption. The airline said that in most cases, employees who refuse to get vaccinated won’t be allowed into the workplace starting Oct. 2. They will either be placed on unpaid leave or face termination proceedings, which could delay their departure beyond early October. United says requests for medical exemptions will be judged by medical staffers including nurses, while requests for waivers based on religious beliefs will be handled...
    A traveler wearing a protective mask waits to board a United Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport, Oct. 15, 2020.David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images United Airlines' employees who are granted exemptions to a company vaccinate mandate for religious reasons will be put on temporary unpaid leave starting next month, the airline told staff on Wednesday, citing the recent rise in Covid cases. The airline last month said its 67,000-person U.S. workforce must be vaccinated against Covid-19 this fall but said it would consider exemptions for religious and personal beliefs as well as medical reasons. Airlines' approaches to encourage vaccination rates of their staff have varied. Delta Air Lines is imposing a $200 surcharge on unvaccinated employees' company health care premiums. Delta, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines will end pay protections for unvaccinated employees who contract or are exposed to Covid-19. United on Wednesday said if an employee's request for a religious exemption is denied, they must be vaccinated within five weeks of the denial notice and the first shot by Sept. 27, or they will be terminated....
                        A nurse at Minnesota Regions Hospital, a part of the Healthpartners care network, revealed an internal memo from Healthpartners president that tells clinicians not to offer medical exemptions for the COVID vaccine for their patients. The letter also specifically says clinicians should not offer exemptions for those that are pregnant. The nurse says the email, sent by Healthpartners President and CEO Angela Walsh, details what Walsh calls “Guidance for exemption requests from patients.” The email says the hospital recommends “against providing medical exemptions (including pregnancy)” unless the patient asking for the exemption has a medical allergy to an ingredient in the COVID vaccine. The email then says if a person has allergies, the clinician should “work with their patients to find another vaccine with different ingredients that would be more suitable” before providing any sort of exemption letter. The nurse, Andi, said that this is a huge problem because “they’re telling our clinicians how to treat us.” She said the president of the Healthpartners organization, which includes...
                        State Senators Kim LaSata (R-MI-Coloma) and Jim Runestad (R-MI-White Lake) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow students in Michigan’s colleges and universities the right to opt out of vaccine mandates imposed by those institutions. The bill would create a range of medical and non-medical exceptions to requirements for students at any higher-education institution in Michigan to get any kind of vaccine. Permissible non-medical reasons for refusal include religious convictions as well as objection “to that immunization or immunizations generally.” Currently, many at the Great Lake State’s colleges and universities have no recourse if they wish to decline COVID-19 vaccination. As transmission of the novel coronavirus’ especially contagious delta variant has heightened, numerous colleges across the state are requiring vaccination.  Among public universities, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and Wayne State University have all instituted vaccine mandates for students and staff. Those schools have all imposed indoor mask-wearing requirements as well, irrespective of a student or staffer’s vaccination status. A Michigan State University...
    Uber is again delaying the reopening of its corporate offices as COVID cases continue to surge across the country.  Employees at the rideshare company were initially expected to return to offices on a part-time basis  this month, before the date was pushed back to October.  But on Thursday, the company announced corporate workers will not be allowed back until next January, citing the highly-contagious Delta variant as cause for the delay.  Uber has now given a tentative office reopening date of January 10, 2022. The news comes despite the fact company has mandated that all office employees are vaccinated. Uber has close to 10,000 corporate employees across the US.  Uber is again delaying the reopening of its corporate offices as COVID cases continue to surge across the country. An Uber office is pictured  Uber says employees will be able to work a 'hybrid model' when offices are eventually reopened. They will still be able to work from home at least two days of the week.  The announcement follows a similar one made by Google on Wednesday.   The tech giant...
    In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to misinformation about aborted fetal cells in vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption letters to anyone — for a suggested “donation” starting at $25. With workplace vaccination mandates in the offing, opponents are turning to a tried-and-true recourse for avoiding a COVID-19 shot: the claim that vaccination interferes with religious beliefs. No major denomination opposes vaccination. Even the Christian Science Church, whose adherents rely largely on prayer rather than medicine, does not impose an official policy. It counsels “respect for public health authorities and conscientious obedience to the laws of the land, including those requiring vaccination.” And if a person claims their privately held religious beliefs forbid vaccination, that defense is unlikely to hold up in court if challenged, legal experts say. Although individual clergy members have mounted the anti-vaccine bandwagon, they have no obvious justification in religious texts for their positions. Many seem willing to cater to people...
    Dr. Dan Busch makes a face that is supposed to imply he has integrity A Florida chiropractor has become wildly popular with the anti-vaxxer crowd. ABC News reports that Dr. Dan Busch’s Twin Palms strip mall location has had a line of “more than 100 people” waiting outside in hopes of getting Busch to sign medical exemptions for their children to opt out of mask requirements at school. Busch has reportedly signed “more than 500” medical exemption forms for children over the last few days. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports that this makes up “roughly” one-third of the total exemptions received by the school district. Busch told the news, ”The people that I will sign exemptions for are the people that qualify for conditions within my scope of practice.” That’s a lot of little kids that need “realignments,” I guess?  But don’t you fear, Dr. Busch is totally being a doctor about this all, explaining that “The parent and child come in, we evaluate what their conditions are, see if they have a valid legitimate condition that would warrant a mask exemption. If they do not, they have...
    Hundreds of students attending the University of Rhode Island (URI) have been able to obtain vaccine exemptions by citing religious reasons and filling out an online form. The school provides students with a one-page form in which they can seek exemptions by checking a box that says they do not desire to get the COVID-19 vaccine. They are also then required to initial next to statements that detail the potential risks of not being vaccinated and the possibility that they will be asked to evacuate campus if an outbreak occurs, according to The Providence Journal. Other Rhode Island schools reportedly require students who are seeking religious exemptions to provide a personal statement that outlines the reasons that taking the vaccine does not align with their faith or why they do not wish to get inoculated. According to the Journal, nearly 1,080 URI students have been exempted from getting the coronavirus vaccine and most exemptions have been granted on religious grounds. This figure reportedly accounts for for seven percent of students registered for in-person classes. URI Health Services Director Ellen Reynolds told the Journal...
    A Florida chiropractor has reportedly signed more than 500 medical exemptions for parents who want their children to opt out of the new mask mandate issued by Sarasota County, one of several defying Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisArizona governor allots M in federal funds for hospitals that use coronavirus antibody treatments As Biden falters, a two-man race for the 2024 GOP nomination begins to take shape Another Florida county approves mask mandate in defiance of DeSantis MORE’ (R) ban on mask requirements in schools.  Sarasota County Schools spokesman Craig Maniglia told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that local chiropractor Dan Busch has signed about one-third of all medical exemption forms it had received in response to its mask mandate, which officially went into effect Monday.  Under the policy, students are required to wear masks unless they provide a form signed by a medical professional indicating that the young person "cannot wear a mask or a face shield (or both) due to a medical, physical or psychological contraindication,” according to the Herald-Tribune.  Rumors have circulated that Busch reportedly handed out pre-signed forms without meeting...
    Ralph Hamers, CEO of UBS Group AG, said employees who don't want to be vaccinated can work from home  The CEO of UBS Group AG banking, an international financing service with more than 25,000 U.S. employees, has said it would allow workers who don't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to work from home.  The move comes after more than 40 of the largest companies operating in the U.S. imposed vaccine mandates for their workers with deadlines in September and October amid the delta variant's spread.     UBS CEO Ralph Hamers said it was the best move for his company as different country's around the world have different rules and regulations. 'Every country has a different legal framework around what you can and can't make mandatory' with respect to vaccines, Hamers said at the Swiss Economic Forum in Interlaken on Thursday. 'The pandemic has delivered solutions to manage the risk of carrying the virus and passing it to your colleagues, and that is to work from home.'  UBS has around 70,000 employees worldwide, with more than a third in...
    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge on Wednesday said she will temporarily block a state law banning public school mask mandates, but students or their parents can opt-out of the requirement if they choose. Judge Natalie Mai said she will issue a temporary injunction that will go into effect next week when she issues a written order detailing her ruling. Mai said she is blocking the law because it applies only to public, not private, schools and that schools adopting a mask mandate must provide an option for parents or students to opt out of the requirement. The ruling drew praise from Gov. Kevin Stitt, who signed the law and opposes mask mandates without exemptions, and Dr. Mary Clarke, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, which joined the lawsuit brought by four parents who oppose the law. “This is a victory for parental choice, personal responsibility and the rule of law,” Stitt said in a statement. Clarke said she was also pleased with the ruling. “This is just a first step in ensuring our schools maintain local...
    WORTH, Ill. (CBS) — Worth, Illinois, is known as the friendly village. But many residents are complaining about a not-so-friendly jump in their property taxes. They say their bills went up — way up. In a town of about 10,000, word spreads quickly. READ MORE: Ruling Allowing Markham Mayor To Keep Job Despite Previous Felony Conviction Could Pave Way For Other Ex Cons “I started asking everybody if all their property taxes went up, and so far, I’ve gotten all the answers as yes,” said Angie Arnold. Arnold is still not over the sticker shock of her bill that showed up a couple of days ago. She said the condo building she’s lived in for about seven years was assessed $20,000 higher, bumping her bill from $486 last year to more than $1,200 this year. “It was pretty devastating,” she said. Arnold is not alone. The mayor of Worth herself, Mary Werner, saw a 12% jump on her bill and an alarming change to her neighbor’s, who’s a senior citizen. READ MORE: Self-Described Evangelist Among Those Offering Religious Exemptions For...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — With more employers announcing vaccine requirements, more workers are trying to request religious exemptions. CBS 2 found people all over the web sharing exemption advice and even a self-described evangelist asking for donations for letters. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas found that true exemptions are rare. READ MORE: Divers Pull Person From Water At Montrose Beach; Victim In Critical Condition The Pope, the president of the Mormon church and the Dalai Lama: Religious leaders the world over are embracing COVID-19 vaccines. “Imams all over the Islamic world have taken the position of support for vaccines,” said University of Chicago religious scholar Laurie Zoloth. “There is no major American or global religion that is saying their members shouldn’t be vaccinated.” But away from the chapels and synagogues in the hallowed halls of the World Wide Web, things are a bit different. “There are a lot of you saying, my pastor refuses,” said a self-described evangelist offering vaccine exemption letters to anyone who wants one. “If I’m privileged to give someone, or, you know, several people a religious exemption letter request, and again...
    Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is set to order all teachers from kindergarten to college to take vaccines as schools reopen amid surging cases of the Delta variant. Pritzker also plans to force all children over the age of two to wear masks in class, as well as mandate face coverings for university students and teachers.  The Democrat's announcement is expected later on Thursday and comes after the FDA on Monday approved the Pfizer vaccine for over-16s - taking it beyond its emergency phase.  The ruling prompted the Pentagon to order all 800,000 active service members to get the shot, while private firms including Delta Airlines and Goldman Sachs also told their staff to get the vaccine. Joe Biden has already signed an executive order requiring millions of federal staff to either get vaccinated or abide by a regular Covid testing scheme.  Pritzker has faced backlash over vaccine mandates for other state employees, however the largest teachers' unions - the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers - are expected to embrace his order in a statement later today, according to the Chicago...
    Chicago police have said 'hell no' to Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan to mandate vaccines for all city employees.  The Democrat told a press conference on Monday that shots 'are absolutely going to be required' hours after the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for over-16s - taking it beyond its emergency phase. The ruling prompted the Pentagon to order all 800,000 active service members to get the shot, while private firms including Delta Airlines and Goldman Sachs also told their staff to get the vaccine. Joe Biden has already signed an executive order requiring millions of federal staff to either get vaccinated or abide by a regular Covid testing scheme.  But cop union boss John Catanzara told Fox: 'This vaccine has no studies for long-term side effects or consequences. None. 'To mandate anybody to get that vaccine, without that data as a baseline, amongst other issues, is a "hell, no" for us. 'We are 100% against mandated vaccines for our members,' he added. Mayor Lori Lightfoot told a press conference on Monday that shots 'are absolutely going to be required' hours...
    (CNN)The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas will not issue letters of exemption for the Covid-19 vaccine on religious grounds, the diocese told pastors Monday.After "careful and prayerful consideration" based on reports from pastors in the diocese that they have received a small amount of such requests, Bishop George Leo Thomas said he believed that issuing vaccine exemptions would contradict guidance from Pope Francis, according to a communication obtained by CNN."For the past several months, our Holy Father Pope Francis has made it clear that the various forms of Covid vaccines are morally acceptable, urging Catholics across the globe to become vaccinated, not only for their own safety and well-being, but also out of concern for the weak and vulnerable in our midst," the bishop said.Religious groups eye legal challenges to Delta variant restrictions and vaccine mandatesThe announcement comes as much of the nation debates mandates over vaccines. Health experts say mandates are vital to getting enough of the population protected to curb the spread of the virus, while some officials and segments of the population are arguing such mandates...
    AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Days after testing negative for COVID-19, after coming down with the virus late last week, Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday, August 25, issued an executive order maintaining the current policy prohibiting the mandating of any COVID-19 vaccinations by any government entity in the State of Texas. Gov. Abbott is vaccinated against COVID-19 and has said Texans should consider getting the vaccine. Additionally, Governor Abbott added to the Special Session agenda the issue of whether any state or local governmental entities in Texas can mandate that an individual receive a COVID-19 vaccine and, if so, what exemptions should apply to such mandate. “Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” said Governor Abbott. READ EXECUTIVE ORDER HERE View this document on Scribd
    Officials at Cal State Chico are investigating a data breach that exposed confidential information from 130 students who requested religious exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine. The records, which included students’ names and email addresses, were breached Aug. 15 and published on an anonymous internet message board, said university officials. Officials were not aware of the breach until a reporter from the Sacramento Bee, which first reported the story, contacted the university Monday. “Students’ medical and religious exemption requests are protected information,” said Andrew Staples, a Cal State Chico spokesman, in a statement. “We are aware of the documents posted online and circulated among the media. We are investigating this incident, while also taking a number of proactive steps to protect students’ confidential information.” The data from a leaked spreadsheet included the students’ self-reported explanations of how their religious beliefs conflict with the university’s vaccination requirements, according to university officials. A majority of students’ names, identification numbers and email addresses were scrubbed from the spreadsheet, but 24 students seeking religious exemptions were identifiable, officials said. The students identifiable in the...
    CHICO,  — Personal information from students at a California college who requested a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine has been posted online after an apparent data breach. The records from about 130 students at California State University, Chico were dumped on an anonymous internet message board, the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. A commenter on the site linked to a spreadsheet with detailed explanations from students who had asked to be exempted from receiving the vaccine in order to attend the college. Student names and phone numbers were included in many of the entries. The original post provided tips on how to file a religious exemption to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to the Bee. “State purely religious reasons only,” the anonymous tip read. “Do not mention anything else.” The CSU system requires its 56,000 faculty and staff and nearly 500,000 students on campus to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The policy allows for medical and religious exemptions. The spreadsheet shows that roughly half of the requests in the leaked document were approved. Many of the denied requests were resubmitted...
    CHICO (AP) — Personal information from students at California State University, Chico who requested a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine has been posted online after an apparent data breach. The records from about 130 students were dumped on an anonymous internet message board. READ MORE: Dixie Fire Update: Reinforcements Join Genesee Valley Firefight; Blazes Advance On Susanville Halted A commenter on the site linked to a spreadsheet with detailed explanations from students who had asked to be exempted from receiving the vaccine in order to attend the college. Student names and phone numbers were included in many of the entries. The original post provided tips on how to file a religious exemption to a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to the Bee. “State purely religious reasons only,” the anonymous tip read. “Do not mention anything else.” The CSU system requires its 56,000 faculty and staff and nearly 500,000 students on campus to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The policy allows for medical and religious exemptions. The spreadsheet shows that roughly half of the requests in the leaked document were approved....
    ROME — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has joined five other Catholic dioceses in rejecting exemptions to the coronavirus vaccines on religious grounds, just as other U.S. dioceses go in the opposite direction. “In unison with the Holy See and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Archdiocese of Philadelphia strongly recommends that all members of the Catholic community should receive the COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccine unless a medical reason prevents them from doing so,” said Kenneth A. Gavin, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “That recommendation is based on the facts that the COVID-19 vaccines and their development have been determined morally acceptable and that we all share a common ethical responsibility to the well-being of our fellow human beings,” he added. “Individuals may wish to pursue an exemption from vaccination based on their own reasons of conscience,” Gavin acknowledged. “In such cases, the burden to support such a request is not one for the local Church or its clergy to validate.” In its decision not to validate requests for a religious exemption to the coronavirus...
    ALSEA, Ore. -- An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements.And Louisiana's attorney general has posted sample letters on his office's Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor's mask rules.Across the U.S., religious figures, doctors, public officials and other community leaders are trying to help people circumvent COVID-19 precautions.While proponents of these workarounds say they are looking out for children's health and parents' rights, others say such stratagems are dishonest and irresponsible and could undermine efforts to beat back the highly contagious delta variant.Mask and vaccine requirements vary from state to state but often allow exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections.EMBED More News Videos Hillsborough and Miami-Dade counties became the third and fourth school districts in Florida to adopt stricter mask mandates. In Oregon, Superintendent Marc Thielman of the rural Alsea School District told parents they can sidestep the governor's school mask requirement...
    ALSEA, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements. And Louisiana’s attorney general has posted sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor’s mask rules. Across the U.S., religious figures, doctors, public officials and other community leaders are trying to help people circumvent COVID-19 precautions. While proponents of these workarounds say they are looking out for children’s health and parents’ rights, others say such stratagems are dishonest and irresponsible and could undermine efforts to beat back the highly contagious delta variant. Mask and vaccine requirements vary from state to state but often allow exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections. In Oregon, Superintendent Marc Thielman of the rural Alsea School District told parents they can sidestep the governor’s school mask requirement by applying for an accommodation for their children under federal disabilities law. Thielman said...
    The archdiocese of Philadelphia ordered the city’s Catholic priests to forbid granting coronavirus vaccine exemptions on religious grounds in a Wednesday letter to the clergy. The archdiocese is the latest of the U.S. Roman Catholic Church’s leadership to refuse religious exemptions for members of the clergy and participants of church on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, the Inquirer reported. “Individuals may wish to pursue an exemption from vaccination based on their own reasons of conscience,” wrote Rev. Michael F. Hennelly, the archdiocese’s vicar for clergy. “In such cases, the burden to support such a request is not for the local Church … to validate and we are not able to provide support for exemption requests on that basis.” Pope Francis told Italy’s TG5 news program that everyone has a “moral obligation” to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a Jan. 10 interview, according to the National Catholic Reporter. (RELATED: Vatican: Pope Francis And Pope Emeritus Benedict Have Received The Coronavirus Vaccine)  “I believe that morally everyone must take the vaccine,” the Pope said. “It is the moral choice because it is about your...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cardinal Blase Cupich sent a message to priests in the Chicago Archdiocese Wednesday about Catholics and the COVID vaccine.He said religious exemptions for the vaccine go against church teachings, and priests should not provide them to parishioners.In the letter, Cupich said the Catholic Church supports the vaccine, adding it promotes the common good.RELATED: Cardinal Cupich leads COVID vaccine push after Catholic Church controversyEMBED More News Videos Pope Francis joined with cardinals from the Americas Wednesday in a public service announcement, urging everyone to get vaccinated."In this time, the best response is to be vaccinated, as a sign of charity, as a true expression of how we live out that great commandment, not only to love God but to love our neighbor," said Bishop Robert Casey, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
    As more employers impose vaccine mandates, a legal showdown over religious exemptions could be brewing, experts say. Shortly after Philip Linsen, an ice rink owner in San Diego, decided to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for his employees, a letter appeared in his email inbox. In it, a pastor attested to the "sincerely held religious objection to covid tests, masks, and vaccines" of one of Linsen's employees. "[I]t is an affront to a Christian to inject their body with a man-made substance in an effort to 'improve' the immune system or insert a dubious object into one’s body to detect an asymptomatic illness," the letter read. "God has already created the body with mechanisms to detect and ward off disease." Citing scripture, the pastor argued that mask-wearing was akin to Muslim veiling practices and that COVID-19 testing was "intrusive and unnecessary in the eyes of a Christian." "I was furious," Linsen told the American Independent Foundation. "A lot of people who are anti-vaccine that we talk to are relatively reasonable, they're willing...
    The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) published a statement Tuesday urging “accommodations” for people who do not wish to receive a coronavirus vaccine for reasons of conscience. In its statement, the NCBC acknowledged “the complex and challenging decisions in conscience that institutions — including Catholic health care organizations — need to make not only for the sake of the persons they serve but also for the good of their employees.” The @NCBCenter has published a Vaccine Exemption Resource for Individuals. This resource is intended for Catholics who have made a sure judgment in conscience to refuse a vaccine. Learn more here–> https://t.co/syIqFe4uPv pic.twitter.com/vTvvu8p0og — The National Catholic Bioethics Center (@NCBCenter) July 21, 2021 “Respecting the conscientious judgments and religious beliefs of these employees is an indispensable dimension of this,” it added, noting that mandatory vaccination policies need “appropriate accommodations for medical or religious reasons.” Some people are legitimately cautious about being injected with a new vaccine that has no medical history or proven effectiveness, while others are morally wary of the various vaccines’ dubious ties to past abortions. The NCBC...
    ROCKLIN (CBS13) — Some local churches are providing religious exemptions for people who don’t want the vaccine but feel forced as more jobs are starting to require vaccinations. Through a church service shared live on Facebook, Pastor Gregg Farrington of Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin spoke out about the religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine he’s now offering to anyone who requests one from him. READ MORE: Local Ham Radio Hero Saves Friends Life Hundreds Of Miles Away The pastor added that the church is pro-freedom, not anti-vaccine, and says saying he’s been approached by “hundreds of people who feel morally compromised by mandatory vaccination requirements.” The church declined to comment on Sunday, but CBS13 has learned The Family Church in Roseville is providing similar exemptions. Pastor Matthew Oliver shared what his church’s vaccine exemption note looks like and says people have a right to their religious freedom. “They want the right to be able to choose what they are going to put into their body,” he said. READ MORE: Bay Area Woman Arrested For Starting Wildfire Near Echo Summit...
    ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – Dozens of students are dropping their face masks at school thanks to a medical exemption. Almost all of them are coming from just one doctor, but the school district says there’s nothing it can do about it. Parents and the district now question why so many mask exemptions are coming from one local doctor. READ MORE: Inmate Walks Away From Firefighting Camp In Calaveras County The phone has been ringing off the hook at Dr. Michael Huang’s Roseville office. “We are fully booked up for the next three months, I can definitely get you in,” his receptionist Ashley said on the phone. They’re all looking for the same thing: a medical mask exemption. Sources tell CBS13 at least 50 medical exemptions have been submitted at south Placer County School districts. About 85 percent of those exemptions have come from one doctor. Dr. Huang maintains his exemptions are handed out after a physical exam. CBS13 asked Dr. Huang whether these exemptions are legitimate and whether those students actually need mask exemptions. “The mask exemption letter, the one we...