New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced that all of the state’s healthcare workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities must get vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The announcement states that "all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities (LTCF), including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27."
It adds that the New York Department of Health will require that all hospitals, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes must "develop and implement a policy mandating employee vaccinations, with limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons."
Cuomo said in a statement that the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the state, noting that "over 80 percent of recent positives in New York State are linked to the delta variant," and saying, "Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine. We have always followed the science, and we're doing so again today, with these recommendations by [New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker] and federal and state health experts. But we need to do more."
The governor said he’s still pushing private businesses to only admit vaccinated customers and for school districts to require educators get vaccinated, but he admits that "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."
Zucker added in a statement that "while we have made tremendous progress in getting New Yorkers vaccinated, this pandemic is far from over and more must be done… 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."
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