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New York: Monday deadline for healthcare workers vaccination, Governor ready for state of emergency

Christian Fernsby |
In preparation for Monday's vaccination deadline, Governor Kathy Hochul released a comprehensive plan to address preventable staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care facilities statewide.

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The plan includes preparing to sign an executive order if necessary to declare a state of emergency that seeks to increase workforce supply and allow qualified health care professionals licensed in other states or countries, recent graduates, retired and formerly practicing health care professionals to practice in New York State.

The Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify that workers who are terminated because of refusal to be vaccinated are not eligible for unemployment insurance absent a valid doctor approved request for medical accommodation.

Other options include deployment of medically trained National Guard members, and partnering with the federal government to deploy Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) to assist local health and medical systems. Additionally, Governor Hochul plans to work with the federal government and other state leaders to explore ways to expedite visa requests for medical professionals.

As of September 22, 84% of all hospital employees in New York State were fully vaccinated. As of September 23, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing home facilities in New York State were fully vaccinated.

According to the regulation issued by the State Department of Health, all health care workers in New York State, at hospitals and nursing homes, are to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the first dose received by Monday, September 27, and staff at other covered entities including home care, hospice, and adult care facilities are to be vaccinated by October 7. The regulation also applies to all out of state and contract medical staff who practice in New York State.

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