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Cuomo encourages mandatory vaccines for teachers, health care workers

A month out from the start of school, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged districts Monday to put vaccine policies in place for teachers, either requiring shots or weekly testing in areas with increasing COVID rates.

Posted: Aug 2, 2021 1:18 PM
Updated: Aug 2, 2021 2:13 PM

NEW YORK, N.Y. (UPDATED) – A month out from the start of school, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged districts Monday to put vaccine policies in place for teachers, either requiring shots or weekly testing in areas with increasing COVID rates.

“I believe school districts should say today: Teachers, vaccine, or test, if you are in a CDC high risk area, the red or the yellow zones, I think they should say that today to the teachers in this current situation,” said Cuomo.

The New York State United Teachers union issued the following statement in response, saying they encourage vaccinations, but not a mandate.

“We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one. We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it’s critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate.”

"Mandatory vaccination for teachers if the numbers go up. Why? Teachers are in front of a classroom. How many kids does a teacher interact with during the course of a day? Thirty, forty, a hundred, hundred and fifty? That child can get the virus and go home," said Cuomo. "Why shouldn't the teacher be vaccinated? If the teacher doesn't want to be vaccinated, fine, but then don't be in front of a classroom. If the numbers go up."

Last week, Cuomo announced all state workers would have to get vaccinated or be tested weekly starting on Labor Day. To assist in this effort, a new state vaccination site will be set up at the State Office Building in Utica this week, with testing sites slated to open in September.

New York is also requiring all public-facing workers at state-run hospitals to get vaccinated. Cuomo is urging private nursing homes and health care facilities to consider mandatory vaccines as well.

The governor also encouraged private businesses to admit only vaccinated people into their establishments in an effort to incentivize people to get the shots.

"Private businesses, I am asking them and suggesting to them go to vaccine only. Go to vaccine-only admission. We did this Radio City Music Hall months ago. Reopened vaccine-only, sold out all the shows. Sports arenas. They went up to about 90 percent vaccine-only,: said Cuomo. "Private businesses, bars, restaurants. Go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it's in your best business interest."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2373659

Reported Deaths: 54904
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings31693410717
Queens30446810139
Suffolk2263213507
Nassau2057483244
Bronx2012496686
New York1607744600
Westchester1403622327
Erie984751879
Richmond853091901
Monroe775831154
Orange54237887
Rockland50600768
Onondaga45436707
Dutchess33589483
Albany28239368
Oneida25527541
Niagara22005382
Broome21557384
Saratoga18312186
Ulster16239271
Schenectady15162214
Rensselaer13180154
Putnam1176595
Chautauqua10796155
Oswego9496100
Chemung8956144
St. Lawrence8774115
Ontario846496
Steuben8285156
Cayuga7828100
Sullivan776581
Jefferson737071
Wayne686877
Cattaraugus667596
Genesee6017127
Herkimer5937116
Tompkins588959
Clinton558534
Madison533897
Fulton523297
Livingston514066
Montgomery5023133
Cortland478369
Warren464676
Columbia4608107
Tioga436867
Chenango414886
Otsego413051
Allegany398192
Greene391983
Wyoming388454
Washington387061
Orleans358983
Franklin344415
Lewis315936
Delaware301740
Seneca244459
Schoharie205420
Essex192929
Yates138126
Schuyler126416
Hamilton4073
Unassigned12529
Out of NY0288
Utica
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Oneonta
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Herkimer
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