Thousands of healthcare workers in New York faced with either getting the COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs have received at least one dose as the statewide mandate neared.

More than 650,000 workers at hospitals and nursing homes in the state had until Monday, September 27 to get their first vaccine dose under the new requirement.

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Healthcare facilities on Tuesday, September 28 reported some suspensions of unvaccinated employees, and some had scaled back services in anticipation of fewer workers. But, according to the Associated Press, industry administrators and representatives said they largely appeared to avoid dire staffing shortages so far.

Broome County’s Willow Point Rehabilitation and Nursing Center had 15 unvaccinated workers who were no longer eligible to work at the Vestal facility September 28.  That facility had already been experiencing a shortage of staff and had closed two of its units.  A couple weeks ago the County Executive said a third unit was in danger of closing.

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Some hospitals across New York State are putting off elective surgeries, closing labs and trimming back some other non-essential services.

Governor Kathy Hochul in an update Tuesday afternoon said the vaccination rates among health care staff continue to rise with 92 percent of hospital staff compliant as of Monday evening while 92 percent of nursing home staff and 89 percent of adult care facility staff  were compliant with the mandate as of Monday evening.

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