Upstate N.Y. Hospital to Halt Baby Deliveries After Workers Resign Over Vaccine Mandate

A small hospital in upstate New York is planning to droop delivering infants beginning in just a few weeks as a result of a few of its labor and supply nurses resigned moderately than adjust to the state’s Covid vaccine mandate.

The improvement underscores the challenges that many well being care techniques face amid a nationwide scarcity of nursing employees and vaccine hesitancy amongst some well being care employees.

“The math is just not working,” stated Gerald Cayer, chief govt officer of Lewis County Health System, at a information convention on Friday. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies.”

Six out of the 18 employees members within the maternity division at Lewis County General Hospital have resigned, and 7 haven’t indicated whether or not they are going to get their photographs, Mr. Cayer stated in an interview on Monday. The hospital, positioned in Lowville, the county seat, had anticipated to ship about 200 infants this yr, he added.

At least 30 staff within the well being system have resigned since former Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated vaccinations by Sept. 27 for New York State’s well being care employees, Mr. Cayer stated. Of those that have resigned, 21 labored in medical areas.

The maternity division at Lewis County General will pause deliveries on Sept. 25, Mr. Cayer stated, and different items might be affected if extra employees resign. Prospective mother and father within the space can have different choices: There are hospitals with maternity departments in Carthage, about 15 miles from Lowville, and in Watertown, about 27 miles away.

The overwhelming majority of employees in his well being system have complied with the mandate. Mr. Cayer stated that 464 staff, or 73 p.c, have been totally vaccinated, and that he he hoped that the employees members who stop would rethink and take the photographs earlier than the deadline. “Anyone who has resigned who changes their mind will be welcomed back,” he stated.

The resignations have taken place in a area with a dire staffing scarcity. There has been a scarcity of skilled maternity nursing employees all through upstate New York, stated Dr. Sean Harney, the hospital’s medical director. Thousands of open nursing positions stay, Mr. Cayer stated.

Lewis County, with about 27,000 residents, is among the many least populous and most politically conservative counties within the state, and has one of many lowest Covid vaccination charges: 44 p.c of residents have been totally vaccinated as of Friday, in contrast with 61 p.c statewide, in accordance to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reports of latest instances greater than doubled in Lewis County, and hospitalizations rose 35 p.c up to now 14 days, in accordance to a New York Times database.