State preparing for possible health care staff shortages

Gov. Kathy Hochul at a COVID-19 briefing Thursday.
Gov. Kathy Hochul at a COVID-19 briefing Thursday.(WWNY)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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NEW YORK (WWNY) - With the deadline looming for all health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the state is making plans for dealing with any staffing shortages next week.

At a briefing Thursday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said the state is preparing ways to deal with a possible shortage if Monday’s deadline comes and there’s not enough workers to go around.

“I will be announcing a whole series of initiatives that we are doing to be prepared for a situation on Monday which I hope doesn’t happen,” she said. “It does not have to happen, my friends. It does not have to happen.”

She said the state is working with health care unions to make sure no facility is short-staffed come Monday.

Hochul said the solution is simple: the holdouts need to get vaccinated.

“What is looming for Monday is completely avoidable and there’s no excuses,” she said.

“It would be phenomenally unfair to your coworkers, to people entrusted to your care, and all of New Yorkers that we’ll have our recovery held back by individuals who choose not to get vaccinated when we finally have this life-saving vaccine,” the governor said.

She thanked the 84 percent of the state’s health care workers who are vaccinated “for doing what you know is right.”

“We can get this number higher, I’m confident of that, I’m grateful for those to those who’ve stood up and done the right thing.”

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