Vaccination warrants in New York: what you need to know

The vaccines were mandated by New York City for public school employees, by the state for healthcare workers, and by the state court system for staff members after the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine was released. received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August.

Here’s what we know as the deadline falls.

The New York State Department of Health last month ordered all healthcare workers in the state to be vaccinated by September 27.

As of Wednesday, 84% of hospital staff, 81% of staff at all adult care facilities and 77% of all staff at nursing facilities were fully immunized, according to the governor’s office.

Hospitals reported widely varying vaccination rates over the weekend, with Mount Sinai and the New York-Presbyterian saying nearly 100% already met the requirement.

The Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, however, said about 85% of its staff were vaccinated, and it expects 10% of its staff – around 400 workers – to not be vaccinated. before the deadline.

Employees at 11 New York City public hospitals who fail to meet the deadline will be placed on unpaid leave, but will be able to return to work if they are vaccinated, said NYC Health + Hospitals spokeswoman Stephanie M. Guzmán .

About 5,000 of the 43,000 hospital workers were not vaccinated as of Monday morning, Health + Hospitals CEO Dr Mitch Katz said.

“Over 95% of my nurses are vaccinated today … almost 98-99% of my doctors agree [and been vaccinated] and all of our facilities are open and fully functional, ”Katz said at a press conference. “I haven’t heard of any negative reports from the private hospital system.

Some hospitals may need to make “operational adjustments” to ensure “that intensive care or operating rooms are adequately staffed,” the city’s health department commissioner said. Dr Dave Chokshi. “But I believe hospitals will be ready to go through this without a major impact on patient care.”

Governor Kathy Hochul said on Monday she plans to sign an executive order to empower herself to address any shortage of healthcare workers after the midnight term deadline.

“Today is an important deadline. It reflects my priority to bring this virus to a halt,” Hochul said. Knowing that you will be safe when you enter a healthcare facility is a “fundamental right,” she said.

The governor said she was ready to use emergency powers to deploy medically trained National Guard officers and put trained and retired health workers back into service, even if their medical licenses have expired.

Hochul said on Saturday she was ready to declare a state of emergency that would allow licensed medical professionals in other states or countries, recent graduates and retired professionals to practice in New York.

The Hochul office will establish an operations center that will be in contact with state health facilities Monday evening and Tuesday to determine where the state’s resources are, as well as employee shortages and how to staff them. correctly, she said.

A hospital in upstate New York has already suspended childbirth due to the number of employees who had quit because of the tenure.
Some employees may fall back on a federal judge’s temporary restraining order that prevents the state from enforcing the warrant if healthcare workers claim a religious exemption.

A hearing on this case is scheduled for Tuesday.

New York City Mandate for Public School Employees

The immunization mandate for educators in New York City will go into effect late Friday afternoon. This means educators and staff will be vaccinated by Monday, October 4, the New York City Department of Education said in a statement.

“Vaccinations are our most powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19 – this decision is on the right side of the law and will protect our students and staff,” NYC DOE spokeswoman Danielle Filson told CNN in a press release.

The city’s education department says more than 87% of its employees, 91% of teachers and 97% of principals have been vaccinated and that these numbers continue to rise every day.

The United Teachers’ Federation said that despite the city’s estimate that 97% of teachers are vaccinated, their recent survey of UFT branch leaders indicates that only about a third believe their schools can open without interruption.

“The city has a lot of work ahead of it to ensure that a sufficient number of vaccinated staff will be available by the new deadline,” Mulgrew said. “We will work with our members to ensure, where possible, that our schools can safely open while the immunization mandate is in effect,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said in a statement to CNN. .

The latest NYC DOE update comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last month that all staff in the city’s education department were to be vaccinated by September 27.

A federal appeals court issued a temporary injunction against the warrant on Friday, which means the requirement may not yet go into effect, a stay for those still unvaccinated.

De Blasio said the previous regime remains in effect until the legal issue is resolved. This policy requires that staff members who have not been vaccinated be tested weekly for the virus.

Federal court temporarily blocks Covid-19 vaccine mandate for New York City teachers

It remains to be seen whether the reprieve for unvaccinated workers will continue. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a notice putting the motion on the schedule for Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the New York City Legal Department.

The appeals court decision came a day after a U.S. district court judge ruled against an injunction. The plaintiffs’ lawyers then appealed and obtained a temporary injunction.

Lawyers representing New York City teachers and paraprofessionals who lost their immunization warrant appeals say they are asking the U.S. Supreme Court for emergency relief.

Lawyer Mark Fonte and lawyer Louis Gelormino said they were “appalled and disappointed” by the decision of the court of appeal.

“With thousands of unvaccinated teachers, the city may regret what it wished for,” Fonte said in a statement to CNN. “Our children will be left without teachers and without safety in schools.”

For its part, the DOE remains confident that the mandate will be fulfilled “once all the facts have been presented, because this is the level of protection that our students and staff deserve,” said spokesperson Danielle Filson.

The mayor expressed the same confidence at a press conference on Monday.

“We are convinced that the city and our education (system) will prevail,” said de Blasio. “We have already won in court in similar cases and hope to win again and soon this week.”

Vaccination mandate for court employees

A vaccination warrant also goes into effect Monday for judges and state court officials, including court lawyers.

A New York judge, however, on Friday postponed the requirement for the more than 5,000 court officers represented by the Civil Service Employees Association union.

The union argued that the statewide mandatory vaccine requirement was a new labor rule that changed terms of employment and that the vaccination mandate was implemented without prior negotiation with the union, in violation of the Civil Service Act.

The judicial system has not identified any law specifically allowing the imposition of a vaccination mandate without prior union negotiation, the judge concluded.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Oct. 1, according to court documents.

CNN’s Aya Elamroussi, Artemis Moshtaghian, Mallory Simon, Kristina Sgueglia, Dakin Andone, Laura Ly, Elizabeth Joseph and Artemis Moshtaghian contributed to this report.

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