A hospital in New York will at least temporarily stop delivering babies later this month, after too many employees resigned over a rule that made Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory.
“The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis county general hospital,” chief executive of the Lewis County Health System, told reporters.
Amid alarm over the highly infectious Delta variant and continued evidence that vaccines are both safe and effective, New York state has required healthcare workers to be vaccinated.
The mandate makes room for medical exemptions but excludes religious ones. Hospitals and nursing homes must comply by 27 September.
Nearly three quarters of staff in the Lewis County Health System have received the jab, including 30 employees after the mandate was announced in August. But another 30 have resigned – 21 from clinical areas – and 165 remain unvaccinated, leaders say.
Already chronically short-staffed, the Lewis county general hospital maternity department took a debilitating hit after six employees resigned from the obstetrics service. Another seven are still deciding whether to get vaccinated or leave.
Patients may now have to rely on other facilities for maternity and postpartum care. Other departments are at risk and the hospital strongly encourages staff to get the shot.
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