With vaccine deadline looming, healthcare workers gather in protest

The protesters argue they are not anti-vax but are against being told what they have to do. They say the vaccine mandate violates their rights and is unconstitutional.

Posted: Sep 19, 2021 5:45 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2021 11:58 PM

NEW HARTFORD, NY – With a September 27th deadline looming for healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus, or risk losing their jobs, many of them gathered in front of St. Luke’s Hospital Sunday to protest the mandate.

The protesters argue they are not anti-vax but are against being told what they have to do. They say the vaccine mandate violates their rights and is unconstitutional.

On September 14th U.S. District Court Judge David Hurd issued a written order against the mandate stating it does not allow for exemptions based on workers’ religious beliefs. This does not mean healthcare workers don’t have to get the vaccine, but for now, they can ask for religious exemptions.

For the protesters gathered in front of the hospital, that decision was not enough.

“We need to stand together now. We have to fight for our freedoms,” says Tasha Soulia, the group’s spokesperson. “There's no other time like this in the history of America where we've seen a mandate forcing us to take a vaccine. This is unconstitutional and we need to stand together now."

Similar rallies have taken place in other parts of New York and across the country as well.

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
Utica
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 50°
Oneonta
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 50°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Game Day Deals - New 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