NY Would possibly Faucet Guard To Exchange Unvaccinated Nurses – Enterprise Insurance
(Reuters) – New York Governor Kathy Hochul is considering hiring the National Guard and out-of-state medical personnel to address the hospital staffing shortage as tens of thousands of workers may lose their jobs because of a Monday deadline for mandatory COVID – 19 vaccination.
The plan, outlined in a statement by Hochul on Saturday, would allow her to declare a state of emergency to increase the supply of health workers to include licensed professionals from other states and countries as well as retired nurses.
Hochul said the state is also considering using National Guard officers with medical training to staff hospitals and other medical facilities. About 16% of the state's 450,000 hospital workers, or about 72,000 workers, are not fully vaccinated, the governor's office said.
The plan comes amid a broader battle between state and federal government leaders pushing for vaccine mandates to counter the highly contagious Delta variant of the novel coronavirus and workers who oppose vaccination regulations, some of whom object on religious grounds.
Governor Hochul attended Sunday services at a large New York City church to ask Christians to help promote vaccines.
“You must be my apostles. You have to go out there and talk about it and say we owe it to each other, ”Governor Hochul told meetings at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, according to an official transcript.
"Jesus taught us to love one another and how to show that love, but care enough for one another to say, please take the vaccine because I love you and want you to live."
Healthcare workers fired for refusal to vaccinate are not eligible for unemployment insurance unless they can submit a valid medically approved application for medical accommodation, Hochul's office said.
It was not immediately clear how pending litigation over religious exemptions would apply to the state's scheme to fire unvaccinated health care workers.
A federal judge in Albany temporarily ordered New York State officials to allow religious exemptions to the state-imposed vaccination mandate for medical personnel, which was introduced by former Governor Andrew Cuomo and goes into effect Monday.
A compulsory vaccination for teachers and employees of New York schools was temporarily blocked by a US appeals court just days before it came into effect. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The highly transmissible Delta variant sparked a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospital stays in the United States, which peaked in early September and has since declined, according to a Reuters tally. The death toll, a tracking indicator, continues to rise, with the nation reporting an average of about 2,000 lives per day for the past week, mostly among the unvaccinated.
While cases across the country are down about 25% from their fall high, the surge in new infections in New York has only recently weakened, according to a Reuters tally.
To better protect the most vulnerable, the CDC on Friday sponsored a booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for Americans 65 and older, adults with underlying medical conditions, and adults in high-risk work and institutional settings.
On Sunday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, who should be eligible for booster vaccination due to her work in high risk environments.
"This includes people in homeless shelters, people in residential groups, people in prisons, but also our employees who work with communities at risk," said Dr. Walensky during a television interview. "So our healthcare workers, our teachers, our grocers, our public transport workers."
Dr. Walensky decided to include a wider range of people than was recommended on Thursday by a group of knowledgeable external advisors to the agency. The CDC director is not required to follow the advice of the panel.