NEW YORK – New York’s Governor is considering mandatory vaccination for certain workers if COVID-19 Delta variant numbers do not go down.
In a press conference on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed the confusion surrounding the new COVID-19 variant and reversal of CDC mask guidelines.
According to Cuomo, though the variant spreads quickly, those who are vaccinated are less likely to catch it and very unlikely to be hospitalized. However, vaccinated people can still spread the variant.
The governor shared the uncertainty of the future, with 25 percent of New Yorkers still unvaccinated, saying they are unsure what the number will look like.
“Nobody knows how bad it will get,” says Cuomo.
Cuomo, however, discussed a worst-case scenario with the Delta variant.
“Worst case scenario, a large number of unvaccinated people get sick. Worse than that, the variant could mutate into a vaccine resistant virus,” explains Cuomo.
In order to incentivize New Yorkers to get vaccinated, Cuomo pushes private businesses owners to switch to vaccinated-only admission.
“I believe it is in your best business interest to have vaccine only admission,” explains Cuomo.
Cuomo says, if people feel the safety of only having vaccinated people surrounding them, they will be more likely to go out and spend money at these businesses.
The governor encourages local governments to follow CDC mask guidelines then enforce whatever policy they set.
However, Cuomo believes that mask policies may not be enough to stop the spread of the Delta variant. Instead, he considers vaccination policies.
His first step will be requiring a vaccine or weekly testing for federal and state workers as well as public facing employees by local governments.
The governor also announced that beginning Labor Day, all MTA employees and New York employees of the Port Authority must be vaccinated or tested weekly.
If the numbers don’t go down, Cuomo will consider mandatory vaccines for nursing home workers, teachers, and all public-facing healthcare workers.
“I believe school districts should act now – teachers should be added to those who must be vaccinated or tested in areas with high or substantial levels of community transmission,” says Cuomo.