Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is calling on Governor Hochul and State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to modify the state’s recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers. Senator Gallivan points to concern raised by some local officials who fear the mandate will result in resignations among health care staff, resulting in staffing shortages at hospitals and nursing homes.
Senator Gallivan, the Ranking member of the Senate Standing Committee on Health, and at least a dozen members of the Senate Minority Conference sent a letter to the governor asking that the mandate be modified to allow non-vaccinated health care workers to undergo weekly testing, as an alternative.
“I support the vaccine and encourage eligible individuals to get it,” Senator Gallivan said. “However, I do not support a vaccine mandate and encourage the state to provide an alternative to those who do not want the shot. Forcing health care workers to get the vaccine could result in staffing shortages throughout the health care industry, especially in rural areas where staffing is a constant challenge.”
Earlier this month, representatives of ten upstate counties called on Governor Hochul to re-examine the vaccine requirement. In their letter to the governor, they raised concern about hospitals and nursing homes being forced to reduce bed capacity if unvaccinated employees resign.
The counties named in the letter included Wyoming, Livingston, Orleans, Genesee, Steuben, Wayne, Ontario, Yates, Seneca and Schuyler.