All health care workers in New York State will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with only limited exceptions for those with religious or medical exemptions.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that staff at hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate settings will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than Monday, Sept. 27.
To date, 75 percent of the state’s estimated 450,000 hospital workers, 74 percent of the state’s 30,000 adult care facility workers, and 68 percent of the state’s 145,500 nursing home workers have completed the vaccination process.
In making the announcement on Monday, Aug. 16, Cuomo noted that Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration, which takes over the governor’s office next week, was briefed prior to the announcement.
“When COVID ambushed New York last year, New Yorkers acted, while the federal government denied the problem," Cuomo said. "Now, the Delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York -- new daily positives are up over 1,000 percent over the last six weeks, and over 80 percent of recent positives in New York State are linked to the Delta variant.
“We must now act again to stop the spread,” he continued. “Our health care heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine.”
Cuomo said that the state will continue to follow the science, and “are doing so today, with these recommendations from Dr. (Health Commissioner Howard) Zucker, and federal, and state health experts.”
“I have strongly urged private businesses to implement vaccinated-only admission policies, and school districts to mandate vaccinations for teachers,” he added. “Neither will occur without the state legally mandating the actions - private businesses will not enforce a vaccine mandate unless it's the law, and local school districts will be hesitant to make these challenging decisions without legal direction.”
Officials also announced that the Department of Health has authorized a third-COVID-19 vaccine dose for New Yorkers who are immunocompromised. Eligible New Yorkers can receive their third dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series.
“While we have made tremendous progress in getting New Yorkers vaccinated, this pandemic is far from over and more must be done,” Zucker stated. “The data and science tell us that getting more people vaccinated as quickly as possible is the best way to keep people safe, prevent further mutations, and enable us to resume our daily routines.
“This mandate will both help close the vaccination gap and reduce the spread of the Delta variant.”
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