The announcement comes as the US grapples with a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases nearly two years into the pandemic largely due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. Health officials have in recent weeks been urging most vaccinated populations to get a booster shot, citing data that shows an additional vaccine dose provides better protection against the strain.
The justices will hear oral arguments Friday in cases challenging the Biden administration’s Covid-19 vaccine and testing requirements for large employers and certain health care workers.At least two members of the court have previously tested positive for the virus: Justice Brett Kavanaugh received a diagnosis in October, while Justice Amy Coney Barrett had a bout with it in 2020 prior to being nominated to the high court by then-President Donald Trump.CNN reported last March that all nine justices had been fully vaccinated, with the court’s announcement then marking the first time it had acknowledged that the jurists had received protection against Covid-19 and a rare instance when information about their health was revealed. Though the justices had started working remotely at the start of the pandemic when much of the US went into lockdown, they resumed in-person oral arguments in October 2021.
The Biden administration has said it will not begin enforcing the employer mandate until January 10, and the government has said it’s not implementing the health care worker mandate while legal challenges play out.