By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A judge temporarily halted Thursday a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for St. Paul city employees.

A Ramsey County District Court judge granted the Tri-Council’s request and issued a temporary restraining order on the city of St. Paul from enforcing its COVID-19 vaccine requirement policy, according to a release by IUOE Local 49.

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Tri-Council union members included IUOE Local 49, Teamsters Local 120 and Laborers Local 363.

“Our goal as an organization is, and has been, to stand up for our members and make their voices heard, and with this ruling, it is evident that those voices were heard loud and clear,” said local business manager Jason George. “We will adhere to the court’s ruling and continue to work with the city of St. Paul to come to an agreement that is beneficial for our members and the public’s safety.”

The city is ordered to postpone enforcement of the vaccine requirement and new requests for medical accommodations or religious exemptions. Local 49 says they will follow the courts recommendations and resume negotiations with the city until an agreement is met.

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This comes after Mayor Melvin Carter’s announcement of the vaccine mandate in October that all city employees must provide proof of vaccination before Dec. 31, or be barred from work.

In November, the St. Paul police union sued the city over its vaccinate mandate. The union says they asked the city to allow testing and masking for unvaccinated officers, but the city denied the request.

The mayor’s Communications Director, Peter Leggett, offered a statement:

“COVID-19 is the leading cause of death among police officers and firefighters. We will do everything we can to protect them, their families, and the public we serve.”

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