New York Hospital Staffers Resign And Cause A Pause On Baby Deliveries
The staffing shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic is bad as it is, but it seems as though it's only getting worse.
The maternity department at the Lewis County Health System was already short staffed pre-pandemic, but is now in a more difficult situation. Their health care workers have decided to remain unvaccinated for COVID-19, causing them to quit their jobs with the hospital as the date of mandated vaccinations quickly approaches.
30 people have resigned from their health care roles since the vaccine was mandated on August 23, 20 who were in clinical positions like nurses, therapists and technicians, totaling 70% of the resignations so far.
According to the Watertown Daily Times, hospital Chief Executive Officer Gerald R. Cayer spoke at a news conference on Friday afternoon in the county board room, stating that 30 people have resigned from their health care roles since the vaccine was mandated on August 23, 20 of whom worked in clinical positions like nurses, therapists and technicians, totaling 70% of the resignations so far.
“Essential health services are not at risk because of the mandate,” Cayer said at the top of his prepared statement. “The mandate ensures we will have a healthy workforce and we are not responsible for (causing COVID-19) transmission in or out of our facilities.”
The hospital beings the pause on their maternity services on September 24. Cayer says he hopes the State Department of Health will work with the hospital to not permanently close the department.
“Lewis County has the highest seven-day and 14-day positivity rates in the state of New York over the past three days,” said health system Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sean Harney.
All healthcare workers are required by state mandate to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by September 27. Harney says the hospital is working with current staff "encourage vaccinations and foster transparency with the staff through outreach conversations."