Hochul signs executive order to deal with health care staffing shortages

Vaccine Mandate
Vaccine Mandate(MGN, Vuong Tran / CC BY 2.0)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 6:07 AM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed an executive order that expands who can work in the state’s health care facilities.

That’s in anticipation of a shortage of workers because of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that took effect at midnight, resulting in many losing their jobs.

It’s also despite improvements in the numbers of health care workers who are vaccinated.

Hochul signed the order Monday night.

“The only way we can move past this pandemic is to ensure that everyone eligible is vaccinated, and that includes those who are taking care of our vulnerable family members and loved ones,” she said in a release.

She said the Department of Health will monitor staffing levels 24/7.

Hochul said that at the time she signed the order, 92 percent of nursing home staff have had at least one dose of a vaccine, up from 70 percent when the mandate was announced August 15.

The number of workers in adult care facilities with at least one dose rose to 89 percent, up from 76 percent in mid-August.

Eighty-four percent of hospital staff were fully vaccinated as of September 22, up from 77 percent on August 10. Preliminary data show 92 percent had at least one dose by Monday evening.

The order allows out-of-state and out-of-country health care workers to practice in New York, allows retirees to re-enter the workforce, expands the role of EMTs in health care settings.

Hochul has also said she may call on medically trained National Guard members to pitch in where there are shortages.

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