State Republicans call for end to vaccine mandates

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ALBANY – Republicans in the state Senate say it’s time to end the mandates on vaccines, and change them to guidelines instead.

Minority Leader Rob Ortt was joined by other senators, asking Gov. Hochul to end what they call "one size fits all" rules for the pandemic.

He says disagreement over COVID policy doesn’t equate with denying the virus exists.

Ortt singled out health care workers and asked the state to allow them to test in the workplace.

"We know – for a fact – undeniably, that people who are vaccinated and boosted can still get COVID and still spread COVID, so why would we continue to force health care workers — why would we not allow a test option? We have tests to stay in school. Why wouldn’t we have a test to stay at your job," said Ortt.

The Republican Conference also wants more local control over public health responses.