Governor Andrew Cuomo says all New York State employees must get vaccinated against the coronavirus by Labor Day or undergo weekly tests for COVID-19.

Cuomo made the announced the policy today in a Zoom call with the non-profit Association for a Better New York.

The governor says his office will be working with the state unions to implement the program quickly and fairly.

He says vaccination or weekly testing will help protect employees' health as the Delta variant spreads and he's encouraging all local governments to follow suit.

Cuomo says New York State will also require patient-facing healthcare workers at State hospitals to get vaccinated to help keep both patients and workers safe.

"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," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why we're requiring everyone who works in a state-run hospital and interacts with patients to get vaccinated."

In mandating either the vaccine or frequent testing for government workers, Cuomo is following California and New York City, which announced similar policies for employees earlier this week.

New York State, has seen a rising number of coronavirus cases linked to the Delta variant.

New infections have climbed more that 400 percent since the end of June.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says state health officials are reviewing new masking guidelines from the CDC.

The agency is recommending that people who are vaccinated against COVID19 wear masks indoors in parts of the country where the number of new infections is rising.

Cuomo issued the following statement on Tuesday;

"New Yorkers beat back COVID before -- going from the highest positivity rate on the globe to one of the lowest -- by staying smart, following the science, and having each other's backs, and that's exactly what we'll keep doing in this next phase of the pandemic. We are reviewing the CDC's new recommendations closely in consultation with federal and state health experts."

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