NEW ORLEANS, La. (December 15, 2021)—The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has revived the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care facilities, including home health agencies, in 26 states.

A three-judge panel in the New Orleans-based court ruled that a Louisiana district court judge could not issue a nation-wide injunction on the mandate. The ruling said the district court only had the authority to block the mandate in states that originally brought a lawsuit against the administration.

Ten states filed suit in a Missouri district court, where an injunction was issued on Nov. 30, 2021. The next day, 14 more states filed suit, leading to the Louisiana district court's initial ruling. According to today's ruling, these states still have injunctions against vaccine mandates in effect. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule in response to the mandate that all health care workers had to have at least their first dose of vaccine by Dec. 6, 2021, and the final dose by Jan. 4, 2022. CMS announced following the initial ruling that it would not be enforcing the mandate. It is not clear at this time if enforcement will resume. 

Read more at The Hill.