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URMC pausing elective surgeries as vaccination rates lag among support staff

The University of Rochester Medical Center is pausing new elective surgeries for two weeks. The news comes as the prominent medical system announced that 99% of professional staff was vaccinated against COVID-19 – meeting New York’s mandate on healthcare workers.

The pause comes amid staffing issues. The 99% vaccinated total includes professional staff at Highland, Strong Memorial, and Thompson Hospital. This includes doctors and advanced practice professionals like physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

Overall, 92% of employees are vaccinated at Strong Memorial Hospital. Around 88% are vaccinated at Highland Hospital. Approximately 90% are vaccinated at Thompson Hospital in Canandaigua.

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“Medical professionals know that vaccination is the most powerful tool we have to keep ourselves, our families and the community safe,” URMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Apostolakos said in a statement. “More people being vaccinated means fewer hospitalizations and fewer deaths.”

The deadline to become vaccinated for workers at healthcare facilities is September 27. It’s a date that Governor Kathy Hochul says the state will stick to no matter what.



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