Thousands of health care workers across the state could lose their jobs

Thousands of health care workers from home health aides to those who work in hospice facilities have until midnight Friday to get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be terminated.

Posted: Oct 7, 2021 6:25 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2021 8:40 AM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The president of the Home Care Association of New York State spoke with Gov. Kathy Hochul's office Thursday afternoon to plead his case for extending the state-mandated deadline of Oct. 7 for certain health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ed Cardillo says he doesn't think an extension will happen and he says, based on a survey, up to 70,000 home health aids alone could lose their jobs Friday.

The vaccine requirement will take effect for covered personnel at certain facilities regulated by the State Department of Health, including adult care facilities, home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, AIDS home care programs, hospice care, and diagnostic and treatment centers.

Cardillo also says the governor's idea to bring in retirees, students and members of the National Guard to help if needed starting Friday is not a good idea.

He says the home health workers that are losing their jobs are certified and trained specifically for in-home care, and the replacements are not.

Nascentia Health, which provides home health services locally, says they will not lose any staff due to the mandate.

Gail Carmichel, vice president of patient services for Nascentia Health, says the company is not losing any staff members, but they do have a few workers who have provided either a religious or medical exemption. Depending on what happens in court, those staff members may have to ultimately decide on whether to get the vaccine or lose their job. 

"It has certainly highlighted differences of opinion within our staff and created a little bit of a challenge in terms of respecting all of their individual wishes and still complying with requirements and mandates for our patients," she said. "So, it's always that gray area, where you can't please everyone all the time and yet we have to protect our patients and sometimes it means our staff have to make difficult decisions."

All hospital workers in the state were required to be vaccinated by the end of September under the same mandate. Hospitals across the state lost thousands of workers who quit or were suspended for non-compliance. Mohawk Valley Health System alone lost 180 employees.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2502914

Reported Deaths: 55935
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33129910834
Queens31382710273
Suffolk2379593585
Nassau2133533285
Bronx2067916745
New York1673084632
Westchester1433102338
Erie1052151938
Richmond882931930
Monroe832991179
Orange57074909
Rockland52800779
Onondaga51242755
Dutchess35358497
Albany30443385
Oneida28265581
Broome24026401
Niagara23713397
Saratoga19975197
Ulster17148277
Schenectady16478227
Rensselaer14570165
Putnam1240596
Chautauqua12248171
Oswego11382111
Chemung10683152
St. Lawrence10282124
Steuben9929173
Ontario9224110
Jefferson861274
Cayuga8562107
Sullivan836283
Wayne798284
Cattaraugus7546110
Genesee6871132
Herkimer6646123
Clinton660338
Tompkins642559
Fulton6207102
Madison6072101
Montgomery5848137
Livingston562571
Warren534581
Cortland525879
Tioga498071
Columbia4957111
Chenango461986
Washington451966
Allegany451795
Otsego451154
Greene433085
Wyoming432657
Orleans426587
Franklin415320
Lewis353738
Delaware349545
Seneca270863
Schoharie226221
Essex222431
Yates157726
Schuyler149316
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14424
Out of NY0309
Utica
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 53°
Oneonta
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Herkimer
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Old Forge
Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 53°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
NEW Game Day Deals each week
Chapter Aesthetic October Giveaway
Cool To Be Kind 2021
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve