A hospital in northern New York announced that it will be postponing deliveries of newborn babies after a high number of resignations from the maternity ward due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to CNN.
Starting September 24th, the Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville will stop delivering new babies. The announcement was made by Gerald Cayer, the head of the Lewis County Health System.
“We are unable to safely staff the service after September 24th,” Cayer said in a press conference on Friday. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital. It is my hope that the Department of Health will work with us in support of pausing the service, rather than closing the maternity department.”
Cayer said that about 30 hospital employees in Lewis County have resigned, out of protest of former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s order that all hospital employees receive at least one shot of the vaccine by September 27th. Of those 30, six resignations were in the maternity unit of Lewis County General Hospital.
“Our vaccination rate is now 73 percent,” Cayer added, noting that “464 individuals in the health system are now vaccinated,” while “165 employees are not yet vaccinated. We have two weeks remaining for 165 staff to receive the first dose of the vaccine. And at the same time, we must develop contingency plans for services we believe are at risk. We can’t wait to the last minute.”
Cayer also issued a threat to employees who resist the vaccine mandates, claiming that any employees who are fired or resign due to refusing a vaccine will not be eligible for unemployment benefits.
“The mandate ensures we will have a healthy workforce, and that we are not responsible for transmission in or out of our facilities,” Cayer said.
Despite the high number of employees who refuse to comply, both the state and federal government are pushing forward with such mandates. Joe Biden announced on Thursday that all 17 million healthcare workers across the country who are employed by facilities operating on Medicare and Medicaid funds will be forced to get vaccinated. He also announced an unprecedented measure demanding that any business with 100 employees or more require vaccinations, or weekly negative COVID tests, or else risk steep fines from the government.