NY declares state of emergency for impending shortage of hospital staff during COVID vaccine tenure

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While tens of thousands of unvaccinated New York health workers are expected to be laid off Monday once the state’s COVID-19 vaccination deadline goes into effect, Governor Kathy Hochul has a plan for a possible shortage staff: a state-wide state of emergency.

Hochul said preparations were underway on Saturday to make an emergency declaration, paving the way for unauthorized healthcare workers in New York to fill in the gaps of those laid off. The declaration will also allow workers from other countries, recent graduates and retirees to practice in New York. In addition, the state may deploy “medically trained” National Guard troops, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we must fight with all the tools at our disposal,” Hochul said in a press release. “I congratulate all of the healthcare workers who have stepped up to get vaccinated, and I urge all other healthcare workers who are not vaccinated to do so now so that they can continue to provide care. “

The move comes as New York sees a number of immunization warrants go into effect statewide, including among New York City teachers. The latter hit a snag Friday night after a federal judge temporarily blocked the mandate come into force, the Associated Press reported.

State data shows that 84% of the 450,000 state hospital employees are vaccinated, as well as 83 percent of its 145,400 nursing home workers. Even still, that means up to 94,000 workers go unvaccinated, leaving a potentially serious shortage of workers from Monday. Many of those who refused to be vaccinated argued that it violated their personal freedoms.

“We give patients a bill of rights and they can choose which procedures, tests or drugs they want to put in their system,” Gregory Serafin, RN at Erie County Medical Center, Recount The New York Times. “Healthcare workers deserve the same medical autonomy to make these decisions. “

Some healthcare facilities believe they can bear the loss of these employees once the September 27 deadline goes into effect, the earliest of those deadlines, with California to start September 30 and Maine’s enforcement starting on September 29. October.

Others, like Erie County Medical Center president Tom Quatroche, have said the impending loss of staff is an “unprecedented crisis.” The facility was forced to suspend intensive care transfers from other hospitals and to suspend elective surgeries for inpatients, as it plans to lay off up to 400 employees on Monday.

“I think we need more time to comply, and I asked for it,” Quatroche told the Times. “For all the right reasons, the vaccination mandate has been put in place. But the reality is it is creating a public health crisis in hospitals, with no one to care for patients. “

A small group gathered outside the New York Presbyterian Hospital on September 1 to protest the requirement to vaccinate hospital staff.

Spencer Platt / Getty

The vaccination deadline for healthcare workers coincides with that of educators in New York, which was to require all school workers to have received at least one injection by Monday. A federal judge temporarily blocked the move, sending it to a panel of three judges of the Court of Appeal for a quick ruling.

“We are confident that our vaccine mandate will continue to be met once all the facts have been presented, as this is the level of protection that our students and staff deserve,” the ministry spokesperson said. Education, Danielle Filson, to the AP.

If he survives the legal challenge, those who do not receive a vaccine will be denied access to school buildings and will be placed on unpaid leave for one year, while retaining their health insurance.

Healthcare workers who are made redundant on Monday will not be entitled to unemployment insurance if they do not have a medical exemption or medical certificate, according to the directives of the State Ministry of Labor.

Healthcare workers and teachers’ unions are engulfed in lawsuits challenging vaccine mandates, with some arguing the mandate infringes their religious freedoms. A federal judge has blocked the mandate to assign those seeking religious exemptions until at least October 12. But for everyone else, the mandate is expected to come into effect on Monday.


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