An upstate New York hospital has said it will stop delivering babies in two weeks’ time, because many of its maternity unit workers have resigned over the Covid vaccine mandate.
Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville will not be delivering babies after September 24, reports WWNY, as too many staff members have quit for the maternity ward for it to stay open safely. In mid-August, former NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all healthcare workers in the state would be required to receive at least the first dose of a Covid vaccine by 27 September.
Lewis County Health System CEO Gerald Cayer said in a statement on Friday, that the announcement had prompted 30 workers to get vaccinated, while another 30 resigned over objections to the mandate. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital,” Cayer said.
“It is my hope that the [New York State] Department of Health will work with us in pausing the service rather than closing the maternity department.” Cayer said 165 hospital staffers, about 27 percent of the workforce, remain unvaccinated. Seventy-three percent of those unvaccinated staffers provide clinical services at the hospital.
The Sept. 25 pause is scheduled two days before the state’s deadline for health-care workers to be vaccinated if they want to continue working, according to the Watertown Daily Times. Officials with the Lewis County Health System did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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