A hospital in New York announced it will stop delivering babies this month after 30 employees quit due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Lewis County Health System CEO Gerald Cayer announced Friday that the Lewis County General Hospital will stop delivering babies on Sept. 25, as the hospital is “unable to safely staff” the maternity department.
“We have a challenge to work through with the vaccination mandate,” Cayer said in a press conference. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies.”
The resignations come two weeks after the hospital changed its COVID-19 vaccination policy, which bans religious exemptions, The Hill reported. Employees with certain medical conditions can still seek vaccine exemptions.
Cayer said that 21 of the 30 employees who left the hospital work in clinical areas, and of a total 464 staffers, roughly 73%, are vaccinated.
The hospital still has 165 unvaccinated staff, Cayer said. Hospital employees have until Sept. 27 to receive the shot, a rule implemented by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to The Hill.
Cayer noted that three staff members already received medical exemptions, and another twelve employees plan to present a medical exemption.
Cayer warned other hospital departments that they were at risk due to the number of unvaccinated staffers.
“We as employees have an obligation not to put those we care for, or our coworkers, at risk,” Cayer said in the press conference.
There have been 30 employees that have taken the vaccine since the mandate was put in place, Cayer added.
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