The hospital system’s coronavirus vaccine mandate imposed by the Lewis County General Hospital in New York has prompted several nurses to resign, forcing the healthcare institution to temporarily close its maternity ward two days before the deadline for all NY state healthcare workers to get a first vaccine dose, The Washington Post reports.
The Upstate New York hospital will stop delivering babies due to staff shortage starting September 25 since the number of resignations they’ve received left them with no other choice.
He also said, without providing further details, that several other clinical departments at the hospital are at risk of shutting down considering the number of unvaccinated staff.
Lewis County Health System CEO Gerald Cayer announced this in his press conference last week, pointing that they’re unable to safely staff the service since a total of 30 staffers, including 21 who worked in clinical areas at the hospital, quit after the mandate was announced.
The staff exodus seriously affected the maternity ward where six nurses left and further seven employees tending to the newborn nursery are still considering whether to stay.
According to New York vaccination mandate for hospitals and long-term care facilities imposed by then-governor Andrew Cuomo in mid-August, September 27 is the deadline all health care workers must respect for receiving at least one dose of the jab unless they have medical exemption.
The vaccination rate in Lewis County General Hospital is currently 73%, with 464 vaccinated staffers.
Under the CDC guidelines, Lewis County is designated as an area of very high Covid-19 transmission with 35% increase in hospitalizations in the last two weeks with 54% of the county’s total population fully vaccinated.