World News

Cuomo considering mandatory vaccines for nursing home workers, teachers

More On:

andrew cuomo

GOP lawyer taking on Letitia James in race for attorney general

Real-estate honchos dump big bucks into Gov. Cuomo’s re-election bid

NY state Health Dept. retains outside counsel for Cuomo COVID-19 probes

Positive COVID tests increase across NY as vax rate reaches 75%

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday floated the possibility of implementing COVID-19 vaccination mandates for nursing home workers and teachers if a recent uptick in cases in New York doesn’t improve as the Delta variant spreads.

“If the numbers don’t come down, I think you have to consider mandatory vaccines for nursing home workers,” Cuomo said during a press conference from this Manhattan office. “The nursing homes are [a] high-risk population.”

The vaccination rate among nursing home staffers lags nearly 20 percent behind the residents they care for, as 87 percent of residents have been partially or fully vaccinated, compared to 68 percent of workers.

If COVID-19 cases don’t fall, Cuomo left the door open to teachers being subject to vaccine mandates, as well.

“Mandatory vaccinations for teachers, if the numbers go up,” he said.

In the immediate term, local school districts should “say today, vaccine or test” in certain areas with high COVID-19 positivity rates.

“I believe school districts should say today, teachers, vaccine or test, if you are in a CDC high-risk area,” he said. “I think they should say that today, to the teachers, in this current situation.”

“For public-facing people who are in a high risk situation, I say there should be a mandatory vaccine policy.”

Also Monday, Cuomo announced that beginning in September, unvaccinated workers at the New York-area transit agencies will be required to be tested weekly.

The MTA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey “are adopting that policy starting Labor Day.”

“So that’s the first step — vaccine, or weekly test,” said Cuomo.

The new rule follows Mayor Bill de Blasio mandating that the city’s unvaccinated workers submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and wear masks in their workplaces.

Meanwhile, the third-term Democrat on Monday urged private businesses to “go to a vaccine-only admission.”

“Private business, bars, restaurants, go to a vaccine-only admission,” he said. “I believe it’s in your best business interest, if I go to a bar and I want to have a drink, and I want to talk to the person next to me. I want to know that that person is vaccinated.

“I believe it’s in your business interest to run a vaccine-only establishment.”

The recommendations and regulations come as COVID-19 cases in the Empire State have risen since June as the Delta variant of the bug has spread. According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, the state has 2,708 new cases on a seven-day average, after seeing under 400 coronavirus cases in late June.

“If these numbers rise and start to rise quickly,” Cuomo said, “it can’t be we’re not ready to move.”

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article