Jim Inman (Photo: canva.com)
IU’s plan to require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 remains in place, after a federal appeals court ruling Monday.
The appeal came after an Indiana district court found that the university was acting appropriately “in pursuing public health and safety for its campus communities.”
Judge Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals noted that the university would have operational challenges if students and staff had concerns about peers potentially spreading the disease.
The lawsuits came from eight IU students who wanted to challenge the legality of the vaccination requirement. The students claimed that receiving unwanted medical treatment was a violation of their constitutional rights.
IU’s policy makes the vaccination a condition of attending or working for the school. The policy allows for exemptions as well, based on religious or medical reasons.
James Bopp, Jr., the attorney for the eight students, stated he will file an appeal with the US Supreme Court.
COVID-19 cases are surging across the state.
The state’s dashboard, found at ourshot.on.gov, shows more than 1,600 new cases on Tuesday, a jump from 616 on Monday. Tuesday’s spike marked the highest number of reported cases in Indiana since February 10.
Monroe County health officials reported 18 new positive cases Tuesday as well as two deaths. Currently 48 people are hospitalized with the virus in Monroe County – the number was 26 on Friday.
On Monday Governor Eric Holcomb did not reestablish restrictions across the state. State health officials are looking to local governments to make decisions about mask mandates and other matters related to the pandemic.
The delta variant of the virus is causing much of the resurgence. Described as a more infectious variation of the COVID-19 virus, health officials have said it can spread as easily as chicken pox.
Nearly 95 percent of the COVID-19 sampled cases in Indiana over the last month have been identified as the delta variant.
Today is the first day of school for MCCSC students. Remember to be patient in your commutes today as school buses return to the streets, parents drop their children off at school and pick them up at the end of the day, and teenage drivers make their way from home to class.
Moving trucks will soon be part of the landscape as well, as IU students and Ivy Tech students return for the fall semester.