Cuomo mandates all NY hospital, nursing home staff get vaccinated

0
79

All of New York State’s 450,000 health care workers in hospitals and nursing and other settings are required to get the coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 27 to help curb the spread of the COVID delta strain, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The order issued by the state Health Department covers staffers at privately run and public hospitals, nursing homes and other elder care facilities and congregate settings.

There will be narrow exceptions for medical or religious reasons.

The order acknowledges what The Post has reported in recent months: that an unacceptably high rate of medical workers remain unvaccinated at hospitals and nursing homes.

About 75 percent of the state’s 450,000 hospital workers have completed their vaccination series — in most cases getting two doses.

That means one of every four hospital workers is unvaccinated.

New York nurses prepare to treat COVID-19 patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manhattan.New York nurses prepare to treat COVID-19 patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Manhattan.Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Meanwhile, just 68 percent of the state’s 145,500 nursing home workers — serving frail, elderly residents most susceptible to contracting COVID – got jabbed.

That means one of every three nursing home staffers is unvaccinated.

More than 54,000 New Yorkers have died from COVID-19, according to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resources Center.

About 16,000 residents in nursing home and other facilities for the elderly were killed by the bug.

About 75 percent of New York hospital staff have been vaccinated.About 75 percent of New York hospital staff have been vaccinated.ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Cuomo — who is stepping down on August. 25 amid sexual harassment scandals — said his successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, was briefed prior to the announcement.

“The Delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York — new daily positives are up over 1000% over the last six weeks, and over 80 percent of recent positives in New York State are linked to the Delta variant,” Cuomo said.

“We must now act again to stop the spread. Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine.”

Kathy Hochul will become the governor of New York on Aug. 25, 2021.Kathy Hochul will become the governor of New York on Aug. 25, 2021.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cuomo earlier ordered state government employees and MTA and Port Authority staffers to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said, “While we have made tremendous progress in getting New Yorkers vaccinated, this pandemic is far from over and more must be done. 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. I want to thank all New York State’s healthcare workers for stepping up once again and showing our state that getting vaccinated is safe, easy, and most importantly, effective.”

Groups representing hospital and nursing home industry management endorsed the vaccine mandate as sound public health policy.

“Greater New York Hospital Association supports New York’s decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all health care workers,” said GNYHA president Kenneth Raske.”

New York’s mandate will help ensure that hospitals and other health care providers can deliver the best care for patients while keeping their workers and communities safe,” Raske said.

The vaccine requirement “makes total sense,” said Michael Balboni, executive director of the Greater NY Health Care Facilities Association, representing nursing homes in the metro area.

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, speaks during a press conference on COVID-19.Dr. Howard A. Zucker, commissioner of the New York state Department of Health, speaks during a press conference on COVID-19.MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

He said the vaccine mandate will help “protect the residents, the families and other staffers.”

The health care workers union — Local 1199 of the Service Employees Union — had no immediate comment. The union has resisted a vaccine mandate.

The state Health Department has also authorized a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for New Yorkers with compromised immune systems, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation last week. Eligible New Yorkers can receive their third dose 28 days after the completion of their two-dose vaccine series.

Groups representing hospital and nursing home industry management endorsed the vaccine mandate as sound public health policy.

“Greater New York Hospital Association supports New York’s decision to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all health care workers,” said GNYHA president Kenneth Raske.COVID-related hospitalizations skyrocketed from 352 a month ago to 1,722 as of Sunday — a 400 percent increase, according to a GNYHA analysis of state data.A week ago, there were 1,345 hospitalizations, they said.

“New York’s mandate will help ensure that hospitals and other health care providers can deliver the best care for patients while keeping their workers and communities safe,” Raske said.

The vaccine requirement “makes total sense,” said Michael Balboni, executive director of the Greater NY Health Care Facilities Association, representing nursing homes in the metro area.

He said the vaccine mandate will help “protect the residents, the families and other staffers.”

The health care workers union — Local 1199 of the Service Employees Union — had no immediate comment. The union has resisted a vaccine mandate.

Source link