UTICA, N.Y. -- Nearly 100 employees at Mohawk Valley Health System have been vaccinated over the past two weeks after they were placed on leave for not meeting the state mandate deadline on Sept. 27. However, 84 who were also placed on leave still chose not to get the shot.
As part of the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, hospital employees were required to get at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline.
At the time the mandate was announced in mid-August, MVHS was at risk of losing 20%, or about 800, of its 4,000 employees who had not yet been vaccinated. Letters were sent the first week of September notifying employees that they would be terminated if they did not comply with the mandate.
After the deadline, 180 MVHS employees were still out of compliance with the mandate and placed on unpaid administrative leave. The hospital network gave those workers until Oct. 9 to get vaccinated or face termination.
As of Monday, Oct. 11, MVHS says 84 unvaccinated employees remained after the deadline and were officially separated from employment.
MVHS is allowing an additional grace period for those 84 employees to get vaccinated and return to work. If they can show proof of vaccination by Thursday, Oct. 28, those workers can return to their former position or a similar role, if available, and resume all benefits, according to MVHS.
Based on data from Oct. 6, Oneida County has the lowest vaccination rate among hospital workers in the Mohawk Valley at 77%.