NY state health commissioner asked to keep unvaccinated workers on job for now

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The president of the New York State Health Facilities Association is asking state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to allow unvaccinated health care workers to stay on the job, at least temporarily, past the Sept. 27 vaccine deadline due to a worker shortage.

The state is mandating all health care workers be required to have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by Sept. 27.

The association recently conducted a survey and found that 94% of nursing providers said they’re experiencing staff shortages.

In addition, 59% of them said it was negatively impacting their ability to perform their roles as healthcare providers.

In a letter, President Stephen Hanse writes, "In light of the state’s long-term care workforce crisis, it is critical for New York to work in partnership with providers to ensure the state’s most vulnerable residents have access to essential long-term care services."

The letter goes on to request that unvaccinated workers be allowed to continue to work as long as they are regularly tested for COVID and wear proper PPE.