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People wait in line to enter the mass vaccination site. If the court keeps the stay in place, the government is asking that it be modified so the rule’s mask-and-test requirement remain in effect. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

The U.S. government has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to lift a stay on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate for private-sector employers.

In a motion filed Tuesday, the government said the Fifth Circuit’s stay on the agency rule requiring workers to either get vaccinated or tested periodically should be immediately lifted in order to prevent COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations. Attorneys with the agency, U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Labor contended that one of the Fifth Circuit’s primary reasoning for granting the stay—that OSHA doesn’t have statutory authority to create the emergency rule—was flawed.

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