ALBANY — In what is likely one of his last acts as governor, Andrew Cuomo mandated all healthcare workers in New York, including hospital, staff at long term congregate settings and nursing home staff, get vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 27.
“The Delta variant is spreading across the nation and across New York, with new daily positives up over 1,000 percent over the last six weeks and over 80 percent of recent positives in New York now linked to the Delta variant,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We must now act again to stop the spread. Our healthcare heroes led the battle against the virus, and now we need them to lead the battle between the variant and the vaccine.”
The governor’s office said there will be “limited exceptions for those with religious or medical reasons.
As of Monday, Aug. 16, some 75 percent of the state’s 450,000 hospital workers, 74 percent of the state’s 30,000 adult care facility workers and 68 percent of the state’s nursing home workers have completed the vaccination series.
Facing a host of scandals and possible impeachment, Cuomo resigned from office last week effective Aug. 24. He said his office informed Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will take over through the end of 2022, of the most recent mandate.
Cuomo also announced the Department of Health has authorized a third COVID-19 dose for New Yorkers with compromised immune systems. The recommendation follows guidance from the federal Center for Disease Control issued last week.
The CDC is currently recommending a third dose for people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medications to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, cancer chemotherapy that causes severe immunosuppression, or other medications that may suppress your immune response
New Yorkers should contact their healthcare provider about whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them at this time.
Locally, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase.
According to Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, as of Monday, 67.9 percent of the county’s population received at least the first dose and 62.8 percent are fully vaccinated. The first dose vaccination rate for those 18 and older is 78.7 percent
From Sunday to Monday there were 39 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number to 25,518 since the pandemic hit in March, 2020. The five-day average stands at 62.4 cases per day. The seven-day average of percent positive rates is up to 4.6 percent.
As of Monday, there were 372 active cases in the county. Of the 82,145 people who completed a mandatory quarantine, 25,146 have tested positive and recovered.
From Sunday to Monday there were five new hospitalizations bringing the total number of county residents hospitalized with the virus to 31.
“Unfortunately, I’ve had to report 16 new COVID hospitalizations in Albany County in just the last three days, and we now have the highest number of county residents hospitalized with the virus since April 26,” he said. “The threat of COVID to unvaccinated individuals is real, as we’re seeing it play out here locally and much worse in other parts of the country and the world.”