NY Vaccination warrant temporarily blocked for health workers demanding religious exemption – NBC New York
What there is to know
- A judge on Thursday issued a temporary and partial injunction against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, court documents said, just days after it went into effect.
- Three-judge panel ruling grants workers religious exemption
- Monday marked the start date for the vaccination mandate of medical workers in Hochul State; as thousands of healthcare workers in New York City were vaccinated against COVID-19 at that time, hundreds more lost their jobs
A judge on Thursday issued a temporary and partial injunction against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s vaccination mandate for healthcare workers, court documents said, just days after it went into effect.
The temporary restraining order was issued after an attorney for three healthcare workers – two nurses from Syosset Hospital on Long Island and a third from Syracuse – said in a lawsuit that the order violated rights religious employees. The three-judge panel’s decision grants workers a religious exemption, the Manhattan Second Court of Appeals ruling said.
The law firm representing nurses applauded the court’s ruling, saying “The Second Circuit got it all. New York got it all wrong.
“There is no public health exemption to the Bill of Rights. Governor Hochul displayed breathtaking arrogance this week when she told New Yorkers that God wanted them to be vaccinated, “the statement from the law firm continued. “We shudder that New York has a governor who thinks it has a direct pipeline to God. The Bill of Rights was enacted to ensure that this kind of nonsense remains stillborn in the American Republic.”
The panel has set a hearing for October 14, effectively suspending the order until that date. A similar suspension had been applied by a separate judge in upstate New York until October 12.
Many New York hospital workers who were on the fence have since been vaccinated against COVID-19 as the warrant went into effect Monday. But some holdouts remain and have been suspended without pay. NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.
The trio’s attorney, Cameron Atkinson, said in an article on his website that one of his clients who was part of the lawsuit had been fired by Northwell Health – something but she is far from the only one losing her employment because of the struggle for vaccination.
A spokesperson for Northwell Health said in a statement earlier in the week that they regretted “the loss of an employee in such circumstances, but as healthcare professionals and members of the larger healthcare provider of state health, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other. We owe it to our staff, patients and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID -19. “
The move came after thousands of healthcare workers in New York City faced the COVID-19 vaccination or the loss of their jobs. While the vast majority had already received Hochul’s statewide tenure as it approached, or obtained it just before the deadline, hundreds of workers have been suspended or fired at hospitals in New York.
Healthcare facilities on Tuesday reported suspensions of unvaccinated workers, and some had cut services in anticipation of fewer workers. But they seemed to largely avoid staff shortages so far, according to administrators and industry representatives.
“At this time, services, on the whole, are unaffected and they remain the standard we expect from our New York hospitals,” said Kenneth E. Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association. . , which represents 140 hospitals and health systems around New York City.
Raske said a “substantial influx” of workers was shot on the last day.
Some people would rather quit their jobs than be vaccinated against COVID-19 and argue about freedom or choice when refusing an injection. But we have had mandatory vaccinations in schools and in different industries for decades that have not generated significant protest, says Dr Alok Patel. “Where have all these people been for the past 20 years? ” he asks.
The terminations associated with Hochul’s order had already occurred in a number of hospital systems. New York-Presbyterian said its vaccination deadline went into effect Sept. 22 at 11:59 p.m. More than 99 percent of the system’s 48,000 team members were vaccinated on time.
Fewer than 250 have chosen not to comply and no longer work at NewYork-Presbyterian, hospital officials said on Tuesday. Another hospital system, Northwell Health, said a day ago that it had fired about two dozen people who refused to be vaccinated.
NYC Health + Hospitals, which operates 11 public hospitals in the five boroughs, takes a slightly different approach at least to begin with. Employees who have not yet been vaccinated have been placed on unpaid leave rather than lose their jobs and will be able to return to work once they are in compliance with the mandate, officials said.
To date, more than 91% of NYC Health + Hospital employees are in compliance with the state’s immunization mandate, according to President and CEO Dr Mitchell Katz, who said he brought in 500 nurses. to replace nurses who were not on the post after the start of the term. Katz added that the city’s public and private hospitals are fully operational.
“We anticipated that there would be a loss of personnel. We knew that no matter how hard we tried, some people weren’t going to get vaccinated and we planned appropriately, ”he said.
“We are grateful to our employees for their commitment to supporting a safe healthcare environment in our facilities by obtaining their COVID-19 vaccine and complying with the state’s mandate,” a spokesperson said on Tuesday. “We are committed to providing high quality, comprehensive health care products to the more than 1.4 million New Yorkers who rely on our services. All of our hospitals and community health clinics are open for uninterrupted care. “
Hundreds of healthcare workers have lost their jobs after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as required by Governor Kathy Hochul’s statewide tenure. Romney Smith reports.
Healthcare facilities have prepared for mandate-related staff reductions by reducing services such as elective surgeries, moving staff and limiting admissions. People were working overtime in hospitals and nursing homes, and some establishments were using recruiting agencies to help supply vaccinated workers.
Rates of fire are expected to continue to increase. Hochul released figures Monday evening showing immunization rates are rising among the state’s 450,000 hospital workers and other healthcare workers. The figures were released as she signed an executive order giving her increased powers to address staff shortages.
As of Monday evening, 92% of nursing home staff received at least one dose of the vaccine, up from 82% a week earlier. The percentage of staff fully vaccinated was 85% on Monday evening, up one percentage point from Wednesday, according to Hochul.
A representative of the nursing home industry said employers are reluctant to lay off workers when they are so needed.
“Many claimants are giving them unpaid leave simply because there is such a workforce crisis that they don’t want to sever that relationship,” said Stephen Hanse, who represents the nursing homes. statewide as president of the New York State Health Facilities Association. and the New York State Center for Assisted Living.
Preliminary data showed that 92% of hospital staff had also received at least one dose of the vaccine, the governor said.
Many health workers still have not received the required first injection of the COVID-19 vaccine days before the state deadline, leaving the possibility that thousands of health workers will be forced out of work on Monday. . NBC New York’s Ida Siegal reports.
As of the last update, state figures show that at least 84% of hospital workers are fully immunized.
Executive order allows out-of-state physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to practice in New York City, facilitates retirees’ re-entry into the workforce, and permits physician visits to nursing homes by telemedicine.
Additionally, New York State Approved Providers without a current registration will be able to practice without penalty. And the order expands the roles of emergency medical technicians, for example by allowing basic paramedics to vaccinate and test for COVID-19.
Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State, said the executive order could help hospitals, but it’s still a tough time.
“Hospitals are not out of the woods yet because the underlying problem is the labor shortage,” said Grause, whose organization represents more than 200 hospitals and health systems.
Meanwhile, the New York City vaccination mandate for Department of Education employees that was scheduled to start on Monday has been allowed to continue from October 4 after federal judges dissolved a temporary block on Monday evening. .
New York Department of Education employees remain divided over immunization requirements. Tracie Strahan reports.