Cuomo Mandates Vaccine For Nursing Home Employees On His Way Out

(Photo by Mary Altaffer-Pool/Getty Images)

Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
Font Size:

With just over a week left in his tenure, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the state will mandate COVID-19 vaccination for hospital and nursing home employees.

Cuomo’s move to require vaccinations for hospital and nursing home staff expands a pre-existing policy that required COVID-19 vaccines for workers at state-owned hospitals and veterans homes who interact directly with patients, according to the Associated Press (AP). The updated policy will require unvaccinated health care workers to get their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Sept. 27, however, there will be “limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons” for not getting the vaccine, the AP reported.

“Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine,” Cuomo said, according to the AP.

The governor’s office claimed that about 75% of the state’s hospital workers (about 450,000 people) were fully vaccinated, the AP reported. Cuomo’s office added that of the 145,500 New York nursing home workers, 68% were vaccinated, as were 74% of the state’s 30,000 other adult care facility workers, according to the AP.

Just under 60% of the state’s population, and 70% of New Yorkers 18 and up, are fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times. As it stands now, the 7-day average for new cases has rebounded from just over 300 cases in late June to over 4,000 new cases per day, The New York Times reported. However, hospitalizations and deaths, while ticking up a bit, have reportedly remained low. (RELATED: Cuomo’s Resignation Shows Just How Skewed Our Moral Compass Is)

Cuomo ultimately resigned, in part, due to a sexual harassment scandal and his administration’s COVID-19 policies for nursing homes, which included forcing nursing homes and long-term care facilities to accept COVID-19 recovering patients. This policy decision resulted in the deaths of more than 15,000 nursing home residents in New York, data that the Cuomo administration attempted to cover up out of fear of federal prosecution.