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MVHS to lose more employees after latest state vaccination deadline

Health care workers in New York State who previously received a religious exemption from receiving the COVID vaccine have to get their first dose by midnight Tuesday or risk losing their jobs.

Posted: Nov 22, 2021 1:49 PM

UTICA, NY – The Mohawk Valley Health System sent a letter to employees last week announcing the organization could lose up to 150 employees after the expiration of a state deadline for COVID-19 vaccine exemptions.

Health care workers in New York State who previously received a religious exemption from receiving the COVID vaccine have to get their first dose by midnight Tuesday or risk losing their jobs. The state health department sent a notice of this mandate to health care providers across the state last week, and MVHS followed-up with a letter to all staff members on Friday that any worker who did not get the vaccine by Monday would be immediately placed on unpaid leave and will face termination.

In Friday’s letter, MVHS estimated the staffing loss to be approximately 150 employees, but Monday morning provided an update to NewsChannel 2 that the number will be less than that because some employees received their first shot over the weekend, and more were expected to get it Monday.

Employees must have documentation of either a first dose of the COVID vaccine or proof of a valid medical exemption to continue working unvaccinated.

MVHS says their emergency departments are facing peak volumes and could lead to reduction in services and/or hours. They also say certain elective procedures, imaging, and radiology services could be limited.

When the state’s mandate was first issued, a group of 17 anonymous health care workers in New York filed a lawsuit against the state because it did not include the option of a religious exemption.

Last month David Hurd, a Federal judge in Utica, ruled in favor of allowing the religious exemptions This new mandate follows a decision by the United States Court of Appeals, which rejected the arguments by the health care workers in their lawsuit.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the state has student nurses and the National Guard on standby to potentially assist wherever a staffing shortage may occur.

MVHS says they will not directly comment on the situation until they know exactly how many employees they expect to lose after this latest deadline. They have called a news conference for Tuesday morning to provide an update on staffing and any changes to services.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2769624

Reported Deaths: 57725
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35194510985
Queens32876810428
Suffolk2593403697
Nassau2291983338
Bronx2142426810
New York1785074667
Westchester1494462357
Erie1283712079
Monroe1001491259
Richmond934401975
Orange63182944
Onondaga60869824
Rockland55960783
Dutchess38515513
Albany35159419
Oneida33993651
Niagara29625425
Broome28853437
Saratoga25582228
Schenectady19780248
Ulster19468293
Rensselaer17938197
Chautauqua15521197
Oswego14611138
Putnam13335101
St. Lawrence13331146
Chemung13197176
Steuben12958194
Ontario12079121
Jefferson11736108
Wayne10658105
Cattaraugus10337165
Cayuga9951114
Sullivan990390
Genesee8949146
Herkimer8587145
Clinton834948
Fulton8040115
Tompkins762561
Warren762198
Madison7614109
Livingston745977
Montgomery7406163
Washington698982
Tioga654874
Cortland619489
Allegany6191123
Columbia5880115
Orleans573096
Chenango572797
Franklin563027
Otsego557466
Wyoming551569
Greene507890
Delaware462553
Lewis431640
Seneca340069
Essex307338
Schoharie281624
Yates206134
Schuyler200720
Hamilton5253
Unassigned1482
Out of NY0340
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