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Judge extends block of Western Michigan vaccine mandate

Unvaccinated athletes will be allowed to compete and practice until U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issues an opinion and order on the case.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A federal judge has extended his order blocking Western Michigan University from enforcing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement against 16 athletes. 

U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issued a ruling from the bench Thursday granting the athletes the right to continue to compete and participate in intercollegiate athletics until he issues an opinion and order on converting a temporary restraining order into a preliminary injunction. 

Unlike at other Michigan universities, Western's vaccine requirement does not extend to all students and employees, although the unvaccinated must undergo weekly coronavirus testing. 

The athletes say they were denied religious exemptions to play without getting a dose.

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