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NYS Health Department mandating vaccines for health care workers at hospitals, nursing homes

The New York State Department of Health is requiring health care workers to get vaccinated in September.

Posted: Aug 16, 2021 12:33 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2021 5:23 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (UPDATED) – The New York State Department of Health is requiring health care workers to get vaccinated in September.

The mandate applies to staff at hospitals, nursing homes, long-term or adult care facilities and any other congregate care settings. There may be limited exemptions for religious or medical reasons. Staff will be required to get the first dose by Sept. 27.

Under Section 16 of public health law, the state health commissioner can issue a public health order like this if “any person is causing, engaging in or maintaining a condition or activity which in his opinion constitutes danger to the health of the people…”  

“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,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “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 health care workers for stepping up once again and showing our state that getting vaccinated is safe, easy, and most importantly, effective."

Part of the order requires the facilities to develop and implement policies mandating employee vaccinations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced his resignation last week, says Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office has been briefed on this new mandate.

Last month, Cuomo announced that employees at state-run hospitals would be required to be vaccinated by Labor Day or tested weekly for COVID-19.

According to state data, there are around 450,000 hospital workers in New York, and about 75% of them are vaccinated. Of the roughly 30,000 adult care facility workers, 74% are vaccinated, and out of around 145,000 nursing home employees, 68% have been vaccinated.

Out of the entire state population, 65% have had at least one vaccine dose, and 58% are fully vaccinated so far.

Here are the vaccination rates locally according to state data:

Oneida County

  • 54.4% of total population with at least one vaccine dose
  • 65.1% of 18+ population with at least one vaccine dose
  • 58.2% of those 12 and older fully vaccinated (according to Oneida County dashboard)

Herkimer County

  • 49.2% of total population with at least one vaccine dose
  • 58.7% of 18+ population with at least one vaccine dose

Otsego County

  • 56.7% of total population with at least one vaccine dose
  • 64% of 18+ population with at least one vaccine dose

Oneida, Herkimer and Otsego counties are all considered areas with high levels of COVID-19 transmission, according to the CDC. In those areas, people are encouraged to wear masks in indoor public settings, and get vaccinated if they aren’t already.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2527230

Reported Deaths: 56169
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33439110849
Queens31559610296
Suffolk2398773609
Nassau2145703296
Bronx2078026754
New York1682394637
Westchester1437172340
Erie1065781950
Richmond890341936
Monroe845321188
Orange57620920
Rockland53178779
Onondaga52166762
Dutchess35671499
Albany30915390
Oneida28720589
Broome24552407
Niagara24076397
Saratoga20342201
Ulster17300280
Schenectady16779228
Rensselaer14839167
Putnam1250998
Chautauqua12449175
Oswego11708113
Chemung10966156
St. Lawrence10598127
Steuben10185173
Ontario9378110
Jefferson892476
Cayuga8674107
Sullivan849883
Wayne820284
Cattaraugus7752115
Genesee7038132
Herkimer6831128
Clinton675040
Tompkins652659
Fulton6365104
Madison6220102
Montgomery5993141
Livingston575571
Warren550184
Cortland535780
Tioga513072
Columbia5025111
Chenango470686
Allegany464197
Washington464167
Otsego459255
Wyoming440758
Greene440186
Orleans435587
Franklin430021
Lewis362138
Delaware357448
Seneca274663
Essex232731
Schoharie230121
Yates165728
Schuyler154417
Hamilton4383
Unassigned15130
Out of NY0318
Utica
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Oneonta
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Herkimer
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Old Forge
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