Tens of thousands of health workers who have not been vaccinated may be dismissed.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul is considering bringing in the National Guard and medics from other states to fill the staffing shortage in hospitals, where tens of thousands of workers are unlikely to have time to undergo mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 until Monday.
The plan outlined in Hochul’s statement will allow her to declare a state of emergency to increase the influx of health workers, including licensed specialists from other states and countries, as well as retired nurses.
Hochul also said that the state is studying the possibility of attracting National Guard officers with medical training to staff hospitals and other medical institutions. According to the governor’s office, about 16 percent of the 450,000 hospital employees in the state, or about 70,000 employees, have not been fully vaccinated.
The plan is being implemented against the background of a broader conflict between state and federal government leaders who advocate mandatory vaccination and workers who oppose vaccinations, including on religious grounds.
“We are continuing the fight against COVID-19 to protect our loved ones,” said Hochul, announcing the plan. – I express my gratitude to all the medical workers who have been vaccinated, and I urge all the remaining unvaccinated medical workers to do it now so that they can continue to provide medical care.”
The Hochul office said that doctors dismissed for refusing vaccination will not be able to get unemployment insurance if they do not provide a doctor-approved request for an exception for medical reasons.
It is unclear how the pending court cases on religious exclusions will affect the state’s plan to dismiss unvaccinated health workers.