Thousands of NY health care workers could be forced off the job as vaccine mandate kicks in

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says she is prepared to call in medically trained National Guard members and retirees to address potential staffing shortages caused by an approaching vaccine mandate for health care workers.

The Democrat released a plan Saturday to address what she called preventable staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care facilities once the mandate takes effect Monday. Many health care workers have still not yet received a required first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine days before the deadline. That leaves the prospect of potentially thousands of health care workers being forced off the job next week.

“We are still in a battle against COVID to protect our loved ones, and we need to fight with every tool at our disposal,” Hochul said. “I am monitoring the staffing situation closely, and we have a plan to increase our health care workforce and help alleviate the burdens on our hospitals and other health care facilities.”

Hochul could declare a state of emergency, which would allow her to license out-of-state health care workers, recent graduates or retirees to go back to work.

At Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York City, they have been encouraging all staff to get vaccinated by the Monday deadline.

“Northwell wants to reassure the public that patient care will not be affected by the New York State’s 9/27 vaccine mandate,” Northwell said in a statement

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