ALBANY – New York’s Governor is responding to a federal judge’s order temporarily suspending the state from enforcing its health care worker vaccine mandate, if the worker claims a religious exemption.
The ruling comes after 17 Catholic and Baptist medical professionals filed a complaint Monday saying they oppose the covid-19 vaccine for religious reasons. They’re seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the state from enforcing it.
For now, the order bars the state’s department of health from requiring employers to deny or revoke religious exemptions for the vaccine.
Because the state’s mandate does not require health care workers to receive their first dose of the vaccine until September 27, the judge’s order says it does not go into effect until that date. A hearing in the case is set for September 28.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was asked about the ruling on Wednesday, in the end she believes the mandates are smart and why vaccination numbers are going up.
As for staffing issues, the Governor says hospitals should be prepared to deal with vacancies regardless, citing a flu outbreak among employees as an example.