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Schuyler and Steuben Counties among ten upstate counties to write to Hochul about healthcare worker vaccine mandate

Ten counties in upstate New York have written to Governor Kathy Hochul asking that she consider the unintended consequences of the vaccine mandate.

Two counties included in the letter are Schuyler and Steuben.

The letter says that healthcare facilities all over the state are facing the issue of mass resignations beginning Sept. 26, the day they must be vaccinated by.

If the variants cause a spike in winter, the inadequate amount of healthcare workers could cause major issues like unsafely discharging patients to their homes.

Hospitals and nursing homes are facing the possibility of losing up to 30% of their workforce and are in the midst of planning ahead.

As facilities close units and turn away new patients in anticipation for a smaller workforce, county officials are asking for options for their healthcare workers who don’t want the vaccine.

One option is to implement testing up to the state’s standards, whether it’s monthly, weekly, or even daily.

Darlene Smith, Steuben County Public Health Director says that Steuben County will continue to support the vaccine but believes something needs to change with the mandate before it goes in effect.