Jamestown Area Nursing Home Loses Staff Due To COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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JAMESTOWN – One of the largest elderly care providers in the Jamestown area has lost nearly ten percent of their staff due to New York State’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

Heritage Ministries President and CEO Lisa Haglund announced the news in a statement to WNY News Now.

Haglund says they lost nine percent of their staff who decided not to be vaccinated.

“While we wish them the best in the future, we also support the vaccine, and recognize we are called to protect our residents,” said Haglund. “As far as who resigned or was termed, everyone had the option to receive the vaccine and maintain employment with Heritage or in the health care field.”

She goes on to say that one of the substantial losses from the pandemic was the loss of staff over the past year.

“Our teams have given so much, and walked in to fight this pandemic head on,” continued Haglund. “They are exhausted and we as a community have to find ways to show them our appreciation.”

The vaccine mandate, which went into effect Monday amid a legal battle challenging its constitutionality, is also impacting hospitals with New York Governor Kathy Hochul taking steps to alleviate potential staffing shortages.

Hochul signed an executive order that expands who can work in the state’s health care facilities and she says the Department of Health will monitor staffing levels 24/7, sending help if needed.

“We are over it. We are done. We want to move on, and the only way we can do that is to ensure that everyone is vaccinated, but particularly individuals who are taking care of the people who are sick,” said Hochul. “I’m talking about the confidence that people need to have, whether you’re an expectant mom heading into the hospital, checking in, an anxious time in your life, you need to be assured that the person taking care of you is not going to give COVID to you or your newborn.”

According to the latest stats from the state health department, the vaccine mandate is increasing vaccinations in the medical field with 84 percent of hospital staff fully vaccinated, up from 77 percent last month at this time.

As for those working at nursing homes and adult care facilities 92 percent and 89 percent of those workers are now vaccinated up from 70 percent and 76 percent respectively.

A protest against the mandate is happening Tuesday outside of UPMC Chautauqua Hospital in Jamestown, with demonstrators expected to continue calls to have Chautauqua County pass legislation to opt out of the mandate.


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