Dozens of Northwell Health employees were fired on Monday after refusing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health care workers in New York had until midnight to receive their first dose of the vaccine or face arrest.
“I appeal to all healthcare workers. First, those who got it – thank you. And for those who haven’t made that decision yet, please do the right thing,” the governor said. Kathy Hochul.
Some healthcare workers in Hauppauge say the mandate is unfair and devastating. They are demanding that the state take immediate action so that they do not lose their jobs for choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
âI don’t want to lose my job,â says TonyLunn Sterk, a registered nurse. âI’ve been there for 21 years. I want to work everyday. I didn’t run away when the pandemic hit. I stayed there alongside my frontline fighting staff and today we are considered zeros compared to the heroes of last year.
Other workers have expressed concerns about their patients in the hospital and their own ability to pay their bills if they lose their jobs.
Representative Lee Zeldin and other lawmakers called on Hochul to allow alternatives to the vaccine, such as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and consistent testing, but the governor stood firm on the vaccine’s mandate on Monday.
âCan’t we just say it’s a basic human right,â Hochul said. âThat anyone who enters a hospital or health facility will be treated by someone who has been vaccinated. ”
Northwell Health said it had already parted with two dozen unvaccinated executives and they would fire the rest of the unvaccinated employees as well.
Additionally, SUNY officials say those who have not received at least one dose of the vaccine in their hospital system to date will result in their immediate suspension and pending termination on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for NYU Langone said the hospital system is collecting data from all locations for accuracy and will report it once it’s completed.
Stony Brook University Hospital said on Monday afternoon that 90% of its employees had been vaccinated.
Unvaccinated employees have been suspended without pay and received an email after leaving work, stating in part: âYour continued presence at work represents a potential danger to the hospital, patients and the community and / or interferes seriously with our operations.
According to Mount Sinai South Nassau, about 87 employees remain unvaccinated and risk suspension without pay.
Catholic Health says unvaccinated employees will be put on leave for two weeks and then considered to have resigned if they are still unvaccinated.
Administrators of the Jewish Gurwin health care system in Commack said around 100 employees decided to get the vaccine in the days leading up to the deadline. The establishment claims to have lost 27 employees as a result of the mandate.
âIt’s hard to lose staff,â says Stuart Almer of Gurwin Health Care System. âIt’s a very difficult time for all of us in terms of recruitment and retention. ”
Hospital systems tell News 12 that patient care will not be affected.
An emergency room doctor told News 12 off camera that there would likely be some slowdown, but nothing that would threaten anyone’s safety.
Stony Brook Hospital could plan ahead as they are hosting a career fair next week.
All employees of hospitals and nursing homes must have at least one dose of the vaccine to keep their jobs. The only way to get around this is to file a religious exemption.
News 12 awaits figures for the number of healthcare workers who will be out of work.
Some tell News 12 that they asked for an exemption and were denied.
Health care flies in the face of vaccines mandate, says it won’t give in to the pressure.
âWe didn’t ask to be in this position, we were pushed into this position,â says Donna Aliperti, a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. âAnd we will not back down. “
Hochul says she is ready to help hospitals facing significant problems due to staff shortages. If the situation were so serious, a state of emergency could be declared and the National Guard could be brought in to help.
Nassau County Director Laura Curran says she believes hospital systems are ready to provide quality care with the mandate in place. She says that as a precaution, she activated the Nassau Emergency Management Office to stay in constant contact with hospitals and to help them with staff shortages.
NORTHWELL HEALTH FULL STATEMENT:
Northwell spent several weeks preparing for New York state’s mandate that all healthcare workers receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 27. But we are taking even stricter measures to keep our staff safe and, more importantly. , the well-being of our patients and the communities we serve. As a healthcare system, we are committed to immunizing all of our staff beyond the scope of the state mandate to include both our clinical and non-clinical staff. A few hundred unvaccinated leaders were contacted last week to take urgent action to get vaccinated. About two dozen of those who were still unvaccinated were taken out of the system. We are now beginning the process of discharging the rest of our unvaccinated staff. Northwell wants to reassure the public that during this time there will be no impact on the quality of patient care at any of our facilities. We are proud that our workforce is already nearly 100 percent vaccinated. As healthcare professionals and members of New York State’s largest healthcare provider, we have a unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and that of others. We take care of sick people – some seriously ill – every day, and we are responsible for their safety in our car.