State workers face vax-or-test under new COVID-19 mandates

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state vaccination rates aren't keeping pace with the highly contagious Delta variant and there is a need to act.

News 12 Staff

Jul 29, 2021, 10:14 AM

Updated 1,051 days ago

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New York state workers are now facing vaccine mandates as COVID-19 numbers are on the rise.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state vaccination rates aren't keeping pace with the highly contagious Delta variant and there is a need to act.
Under the new mandate, approximately 13,000 state employees are now under a vax-or-test requirement.
State workers must be fully vaccinated by Labor Day or face weekly COVID-19 testing.
The mandate affects state workers differently as it all depends on the job.
For example, health care workers at New York’s 10 state hospitals, like Helen Hayes in Haverstraw, have less options.
For those who are considered to be patient-facing health care workers, like nurses for example, don't get the test option - they are now required to be vaccinated.
The governor says they are working with unions to implement the mandate fairly and is encouraging all local governments do the same.
There is no word yet from any of the region’s county executives as to whether or not they will follow suit.
Union leaders say while many state workers are already vaccinated, a certain percentage is not - causing pushback on the new mandate. Some union leaders tell News 12 they were blindsided by the mandate and will be meeting with attorneys to go over options.
Legal experts say these unprecedented times can be tough to navigate. "As you can see from the CDC this week, things change. This is not a perfect science, so the interplay between science and law is constantly evolving," says employment lawyer Marc Sheridan.


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