A New York hospital is being forced to stop delivering babies after experiencing mass staff resignations due to the recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
On Friday, Lewis County Health System CEO Jerry Cayer announced during a press conference that the hospital has faced a number of staff resignations because of the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, losing 30 employees. He said the facility’s maternity unit alone has seen six staff members resign with seven other staff members refusing to get the vaccine — leading to the halt in maternity services.
Lewis County Health System did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request to comment further.
“We are unable to safely staff the service after Sept. 24,” Cayer said. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital.”
Last month, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all healthcare workers in the state were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, providing a deadline to receive the first dose by Sept. 27.
As of now, 165 employees of the hospital remain unvaccinated and Cayer told reporters that it’s unclear if they plan to get the vaccine or not. He noted that of those unvaccinated, they have received three medical exemptions and were aware of 12 others who plan to seek medical exemption.
The hospital is now working with the Department of Health in order to prevent a permanent closure of the maternity unit.
“Our hope is as we get closer (to the deadline), the numbers will increase of individuals who are vaccinated, fewer individuals will leave and maybe, with a little luck, some of those who have resigned will reconsider,” Cayer added during the conference. “We are not alone. There are thousands of positions that are open north of the Thruway and now we have a challenge to work through, you know, with the vaccination mandate.”
Let them quit — if you ask us, it sounds like a bunch of jobs just opened up for some fresh graduates right out of nursing school.
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