NY will require all state employees and workers at state-run hospitals to be vaccinated

Posted 28 July 2021 at 2:40 pm

Batavia Veterans Home among the sites with the new state requirement; Cuomo urges local governments to require employees be vaccinated or tested for Covid

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that patient-facing healthcare workers at state-run hospitals will be required to get vaccinated for Covid-19 by Labor Day.

There will not be an option to be tested in lieu of vaccination for these patient-facing healthcare workers. The Governor also announced that all New York State employees—about 130,000 people—will be required to get vaccinated for Covid-19 by Labor Day. State employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to be tested for Covid-19 on a weekly basis. New York State is working with state unions to implement the requirement quickly and fairly.

“New Yorkers have displayed tremendous dedication and resilience to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic across the state, but vaccination rates aren’t keeping pace with the Delta variant and we need to act now,” Governor Cuomo said. “That’s why we’re requiring everyone who works in a state-run hospital and interacts with patients to get vaccinated. New York is taking its vaccination effort a step further and requiring all state employees to get the shot or be tested weekly, and we look forward to working with our sisters and brothers in the labor movement to implement that quickly and effectively by Labor Day. Our healthcare heroes have led the way all through this terrible crisis, so let’s get vaccinated, save lives and beat this beast for once and for all.”

The Governor also called on the FDA to expedite final approval of the vaccine and end emergency use authorization restrictions. Governor Cuomo also urged local governments to require all employees to be vaccinated or submit to testing by Labor Day. If the numbers continue to increase, school districts in affected areas should also strongly consider taking further action.

State-run hospitals and facilities include:

  • Batavia Veterans Home
  • SUNY Stony Brook
  • SUNY Upstate
  • SUNY Downstate
  • Long Island Veterans Home at Stony Brook
  • Helen Hayes Hospital
  • SUNY College of Optometry
  • Montrose Veterans Home
  • St. Albans Veterans Home
  • Oxford Veterans Home

New York State continues to promote and expand access to the vaccine, particularly in communities with lower vaccination rates. On July 26, Governor Cuomo announced the allocation of $15 million from the New York State budget to promote vaccination in communities across the state that were hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds will be used to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities.

UPDATE at 3:19 p.m.: Michael Powers, president of NYSCOPBA (New York State Corrections Officers Benevolent Association), issued this statement: “It’s disheartening that an administration that touts itself being NY Smart, would take such a drastic measure without any input from the individuals this directly impacts. Just a month ago, the State celebrated the lifting of restrictions with fireworks shows and now today’s about-face. It’s time that we stop making decisions in a vacuum and start including stakeholders.”