New York’s governor said on Wednesday that the state will look for workers abroad to substitute for employees at hospitals and nursing homes who are unvaccinated against COVID-19.
Health care and nursing home workers in New York state can possibly lose their jobs if they do not comply with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate imposed on them by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and taking effect on Sept. 27.
Gov. Kathy Hochul told Spectrum News 1 in a videotaped interview following a press conference in Rochester, New York that New York state will take steps to replace unvaccinated workers.
The state government works with various hospital systems to seek other potential workers who can supplement staff in nursing homes, Hochul told Spectrum News 1.
“We also have state individuals that are trained to be helpful,” she added.
Another option outlined by Hochul is to find substitute employees who would be hired from other countries.
“We’re also reaching out to the Department of State to find out about visas for foreign workers on a limited basis to bring more nurses over here,” Hochul said.
The governor blamed those who refused the COVID-19 vaccine for the current situation.
“People who will not get vaccinated are the only reason that this country, and these communities, and our cities have not been able to be fully engaged in a state of normalcy,” Hochul said.
To date, approximately 84 percent of the state’s 450,000 hospital workers, 85 percent of the state’s adult care facility workers, and 83 percent of the state’s nursing home staff have been fully vaccinated, according to the New York state government’s data.
The vaccine mandate was introduced by Cuomo in mid-August with a goal to halt the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, especially its Delta variant, according to a statement.