UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – New York’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers is set to take effect on September 27th, but now a federal judge has blocked the mandate, asking for a religious exemption to be added to the requirement.
“Right now the Mohawk Valley Health System is moving forward with the original mandate as written. I do not know what is going to happen with the religious exemption and we have deadlines to meet so we are moving forward as we always have been,” said Darlene Stromstad, President and CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health Care System.
MVHS has been working on communicating with their unvaccinated employees in order to get them comfortable with the vaccine. They are making physicians available to answer questions as well as offering vaccination pods. However, they are working on a deadline, and president and CEO of Mohawk Valley Healthcare System Darlene Stromstad explains that there will be no exceptions made for those who decide to not get the vaccine.
“Of the people that have not been vaccinated about a third we believe are waiting till the deadline to see if they really have to get vaccinated another third have genuine concerns about the vaccine, but there is another third we believe of the unvaccinated that are just simply not going to get the vaccine and those are the ones that will be leaving our organization,” said Stromstad.
In Lewis County, their general hospital have been forced to pause their maternity services due to staffing shortages caused by the refusal to get the vaccine. Darlene says that MVHS is a larger operation so at this point they are not planning cutting our eliminating any service, however, she does expect there to be some changes made.
“We may have to curtail hours we might consolidate some locations, there will be a disruption to the service we provide. That we believe but we’re going to try as hard as we can to make sure that every service we offer we can continue to offer,” said Stromstad.