Deadline for NYS healthcare workers to get COVID vaccine only one week away

State News

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CORTLAND, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The deadline for all healthcare workers across New York State to get the COVID-19 vaccine is now only one week away. If employees choose not to get vaccinated by Monday, September 27, they’ll lose their jobs.

Out of the 786 healthcare workers at Guthrie Medical Center in Cortland, 95% of employees have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Guthrie is a big team. When you look to your left and look to your right, this is very important that our employees all look at this as taking care of the patient.,” Dr. David Ristedt, Guthrie’s regional medical director explained.

Dr. Ristedt said the remaining 5% of employees who are currently unvaccinated are still exploring their options such as an exemption request for religious or medical reasons. Guthrie did not disclose how many of its employees put in a request.

We’re also still processing exemption requests in accordance with the federal law. Our human resources department is still actively engaged with each employee.

Those who are choosing not to put in an exemption or to comply with the New York State mandate, then will obviously not be employed by Guthrie.

Dr. David Ristedt, Regional Medical Director, Guthrie

It’s a decision that not only Guthrie’s employees need to make by next week, but all state healthcare workers.

NewsChannel 9 reached out to several hospitals around the region for the latest vaccination data.

A spokesperson for Crouse Hospital in Syracuse said as of Monday, September 20, 91% of its staff is vaccinated.

Crouse expects that percentage to increase over the next week, as the hospital has been hosting walk-in vaccination pods.

However, according to the State Health Department’s most recent data collected on September 14, many Central New York Hospital percentages are still in the 70s and 80s.

Latest Central New York hospital staff vaccination numbers:

  • Guthrie Cortland Medical Center: 95% (as of 9/20/21)
  • Crouse Hospital: 91% (as of 9/20/21)
  • Upstate University Hospital: 88%
  • Oneida Health Hospital: 86%
  • Oswego Hospital: 85%
  • Cayuga Medical Center: 83%
  • Community Memorial Hospital: 82%
  • Faxton St. Luke’s Hospital: 79%
  • Auburn Memorial Hospital: 78%
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital: 77%
  • Rome Memorial Hospital: 75%
  • St. Elizabeth Medical Center: 75%

“We’re doing what we can do within the medical facilities to ensure your safety when you come to see us. Our staff is going to be vaccinated so it’s a safe place to come and get healthcare. So, if we can encourage all the rest of the country to get vaccinated and to become fully vaccinated, that would be a great thing.

Dr. David ristedt, regional medical director, guthrie

Guthrie Medical adopted the employee vaccine mandate across all of its facilities, including out of New York State. All Guthrie employees must be vaccinated or have their request for vaccine exemption approved.

Dr. Ristedt said he does not expect any of its services to change come September 27.

“The vaccine mandate, in and of itself, is not going to have any impact on our services,” Dr. Ristedt explained.

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