Gov. Cuomo Mandates All State Workers to be Vaccinated by Labor Day

Gov. Cuomo Mandates All State Workers to be Vaccinated by Labor Day
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the vaccination requirement on state workers on Wednesday.

ALBANY—Several days after New York City issued the mandate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced that all New York State employees—about 130,000 people—will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day.

The governor also announced that all patient-facing healthcare workers at state-run hospitals will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day. There will not be an option to be tested in lieu of vaccination for these patient-facing healthcare workers.

State employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. New York State is working with state unions to implement the requirement quickly and fairly.

“New Yorkers have displayed tremendous dedication and resilience to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic across the state, but vaccination rates aren’t keeping pace with the Delta variant and we need to act now,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That’s why we’re requiring everyone who works in a state-run hospital and interacts with patients to get vaccinated. New York is taking its vaccination effort a step further and requiring all state employees to get the shot or be tested weekly, and we look forward to working with our sisters and brothers in the labor movement to implement that quickly and effectively by Labor Day. Our healthcare heroes have led the way all through this terrible crisis, so let’s get vaccinated, save lives and beat this beast for once and for all.”

Gov. Cuomo also called on the FDA to expedite final approval of the vaccine and end emergency use authorization restrictions. He also urged local governments to require all employees to be vaccinated or submit to testing by Labor Day. If the numbers continue to increase, school districts in affected areas should also strongly consider taking further action.

State-run hospitals and facilities include:

SUNY Stony Brook
SUNY Upstate
SUNY Downstate
Long Island Veterans Home at Stony Brook
Helen Hayes Hospital
SUNY College of Optometry
Montrose Veterans Home
St. Albans Veterans Home
Oxford Veterans Home
Batavia Veterans Home

On Monday, Gov. Cuomo announced the allocation of $15 million from the New York State budget to promote vaccination in communities across the state that were hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities. The governor also announced a new ad urging New Yorkers across the state to get vaccinated.

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an expansion of the city’s vaccination mandate to include all city workers.

The new policy begins with city employees who work in congregate settings first. The plan will be phased in. Unvaccinated workers will have until Sept. 13 to complete their vaccine series or opt for a virus test each week. All unvaccinated workers must wear a mask at work starting Aug. 2.

At press time, the New York Times reports that President Biden will formally announce today (Thursday, July 29) that all civilian federal employees must be vaccinated against the coronavirus or be forced to submit to regular testing, social distancing, mask requirements and restrictions on most travel.

With the federal government, state and New York City imposing vaccination requirements, local governments are sure to follow if COVID infection numbers continue to rise. In fact, Wednesday afternoon Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced all municipal and Yonkers School District employees must provide one-time proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Labor Day or undergo weekly testing.

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