New York is prepared to bring in medically-trained National Guard members and federal disaster teams to combat a looming staffing shortage at hospitals and nursing homes if workers don’t meet Monday’s COVID-19 vaccination deadline.
Gov. Hochul announced the contingency plans Saturday and said she was ready to sign an executive order declaring a state of emergency allowing qualified out-of-state workers to be able to practice in New York as well as recent grads and retirees.
Hochul has also said she’s looking to bring in foreign workers to supplement staff. She said Saturday she plans to work with the federal government to expedite visa requests for medical professionals.
Earlier in the week, Hochul announced an agreement to raise overtime pay at three state university-run hospitals, including SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn.
As of Wednesday, 16 percent of all hospital workers statewide were unvaccinated and as of Thursday, 15 percent of nursing home employees had refused to be jabbed, state stats show.
Anyone who does not get at least the first dose of the COVID-19 shot by Monday won’t be able to work and faces possible termination. Former Gov. Cuomo issued the mandate in August before he resigned.
Workers who provide home and hospice care and or work at adult care facilities have to be vaccinated by Oct. 7.
Northwell Health, the state’s biggest hospital network, said it has thousands of volunteers and retirees on standby and other hospitals were ready to cancel elective surgeries.
New York-Presbyterian gave its workers until midnight Wednesday to be vaccinated and said that less than 250 of its 48,000 staffers had refused the jab.
With Post wires