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The Supreme Court on Friday declined without comment an attempt to block New York City’s requirement that public school teachers receive covid-19 vaccinations.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the justice charged with handling emergency requests from that region of the country, denied the request without referring the issue to the full court or asking for a response from New York. That generally is a sign that the court believed the request lacked a compelling legal argument.

New York City’s 150,000 school employees had until Friday at 5 p.m. to show proof of vaccination or to obtain a religious or medical exemption. If they fail to, the city can remove them from the payrolls. A group of educators challenging the requirement lost in lower courts, and made a last-ditch pitch to the Supreme Court.

Here’s what to know

  • The United States will soon surpass 700,000 covid-19 deaths — a grim milestone few experts anticipated the nation would reach when vaccines became widely available.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that the state will require all schoolchildren to get vaccinated against coronavirus when it gets full approval from the Food and Drug Administration, enacting the first statewide requirement for children.
  • Merck said that an experimental pill it developed to treat covid-19 reduced the risk of hospitalization and death by nearly half in a clinical trial.
  • Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh will participate in next week’s Supreme Court hearings remotely from his home after testing positive Thursday for the coronavirus.
  • Early next month, federal agencies can start enforcing President Biden’s vaccine mandates on federal employees who resist the order without an exemption, the administration said Friday.