A Manhattan judge has suspended the visitation rights of a Long Island father to see his toddler daughter, unless he agrees to submit to weekly COVID-19 tests or get vaccinated. The man in question has already contracted the novel virus.

Justice Matthew Cooper wrote, “Here, in-person parental access by defendant is not in the child’s best interests, and there are exceptional circumstances that support its suspension,” in a case involving the father’s divorce and custody arrangement of his 3-year-old daughter.

The judge continued, the “dangers of voluntarily remaining unvaccinated during access with a child while the COVID-19 virus remains a threat to children’s health and safety cannot be understated.”

An attorney for the father, whose name was not revealed in the court order, argued that the man has natural immunity and therefore does not need the vaccine. “My client is not a conspiracy theorist. He has concerns about the vaccine. He’s heard about side effects. He once had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine,” argued Lloyd Rosen, the man’s lawyer.

Legal representation for the mother in the case agreed heartily with Judge Cooper, saying his ruling is “an incredibly important one that highlights the extraordinary times we are living in and reinforces that a child’s best interests are paramount.”

New York City has instilled vaccine mandates across a number of societal institutions, including requiring proof of vaccine to enter restaurants, gyms, bars, and theaters. The New York state government is attempting to mandate that all healthcare workers receive the COVID vaccine or face suspension or termination. A federal judge has issued a temporary ruling on that mandate allowing for workers to remain unvaccinated for religious reasons.