New York City to require Covid vaccination or weekly test for hospital workers

Photo: AP Bill de Blasio

As part of a nationwide response to the threat posed by the more contagious Delta coronavirus variant, New York City will require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly tests for workers at city-run hospitals and clinics, Reuters reported. The new policy will go into effect on 2 August, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Wednesday. The city will suspend without pay any employee who refuses to either get vaccinated or tested.

De Blasio said New York may take further measures if the threat posed by the Delta variant grows. He did not rule out extending vaccination or test requirements to all city workers in the future.

About 60% of the more than 42,000 employees of New York City’s public hospital system are vaccinated, Mitch Katz, who heads the nation’s largest public healthcare system, said on Wednesday. Across New York City, 70% of hospital staff has received both doses of the vaccine, state data shows.

The percentage of New York public hospital workers who are fully vaccinated is also lower than the percentage of the city’s adult population, which stands at 65%, city health data shows.

Dozens of hospitals and health systems across the United States have issued vaccination requirements for their staff.

In California, San Francisco took more decisive steps last month when it announced that all municipal workers in “high risk” settings such as homeless shelters and jails will have to get vaccinated by 15 September.

 

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