Unvaccinated health care workers have until end of day to get first dose

As the deadline closed in for hospital and nursing home workers in New York state to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul made an 11th-hour plea to holdout healthcare workers to get inoculated.

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 2:39 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 5:51 PM

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - As the deadline closed in for hospital and nursing home workers in New York state to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Kathy Hochul made an 11th-hour plea to holdout health care workers to get inoculated.

Hospitals and nursing homes braced for the prospect of severe staff shortages fueled by workers getting suspended or fired for refusing to be inoculated.

Associated Press Photo

“But we were hit the first, we were hit the hardest and I want to be the first to say ‘we’re over this.’ And so, I’m calling on all the health care workers," said Hochul. "First of all, those of you who have been vaccinated, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what was right and helping lead the way so we do have the confidence that we need. And to those who have not yet made that decision – please do the right thing.”

With thousands of workers still thought to be holding out, administrators prepared contingency plans that included cutting back on non-critical services and limiting admissions at nursing homes.

Earlier this month, Mohawk Valley Health System assessed its vaccinated staff and found about 20% had not yet received a shot, meaning they could lose up to 800 workers across the entire health network.

About 96% of employees at Bassett Healthcare Network are vaccinated, which means the system is at risk of losing roughly 200 employees if they don't get their vaccines by midnight.

Hochul said health care workers in New York are required to be vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Monday.

The governor also said she plans to sign an executive order Monday that will allow her to deploy the National Guard to help with staffing shortages across the state. 

Some health care workers are concerned they will be asked to take on extra duties because of the imminent shortages. 

“It’s a concern, and I’ll tell you, my heart breaks for the nurses and the other individuals who’ve done the right thing, who now know because…not everyone was being persuaded to do the right thing, that they have to work harder and they’re going to have more sacrifice. It’s fundamentally unfair. And we’re going to have to bring in people to help at all levels, no doubt about it. Again, it doesn’t have to be this way. It does not," said Hochul.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2511182

Reported Deaths: 56008
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings33248910839
Queens31448010282
Suffolk2384943593
Nassau2137303286
Bronx2071526748
New York1675934633
Westchester1434342338
Erie1056611940
Richmond886031932
Monroe837081182
Orange57270909
Rockland52918779
Onondaga51624757
Dutchess35451497
Albany30581388
Oneida28418582
Broome24183403
Niagara23854397
Saratoga20080198
Ulster17205278
Schenectady16584227
Rensselaer14669167
Putnam1243996
Chautauqua12308173
Oswego11505112
Chemung10772153
St. Lawrence10392126
Steuben10019173
Ontario9278110
Jefferson870974
Cayuga8600107
Sullivan842083
Wayne807484
Cattaraugus7613113
Genesee6933132
Herkimer6694126
Clinton665438
Tompkins646559
Fulton6244102
Madison6124102
Montgomery5878138
Livingston566871
Warren538682
Cortland529479
Tioga502571
Columbia4977111
Chenango464986
Allegany456296
Washington454667
Otsego453554
Greene435186
Wyoming434458
Orleans428587
Franklin421820
Lewis355638
Delaware352147
Seneca271963
Schoharie227621
Essex226331
Yates160528
Schuyler151817
Hamilton4343
Unassigned14826
Out of NY0310
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