New York health system to halt maternity care after staff resign over vaccine mandate

Lewis County Health System, a single hospital system in Lowville, N.Y., temporarily will close its maternity unit due to staffing challenges worsened by the number of workers unwilling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to

Gerald Cayer, CEO of the health system, said the maternity department will be closed until they can find enough vaccinated nurses to reopen it, the publication reported Sept. 10.

Mr. Cayer said seven of the 30 people who have resigned due to New York's vaccine mandate worked in the maternity ward, and seven additional workers in the unit have not indicated whether they will get their first vaccine by Sept. 27, the deadline set by the state for healthcare workers to get their first dose.  

The health system said it may also scale back medical services in five other departments if more employees resign over the vaccine mandate. As of Sept. 10, there are still 165 of about 650 employees who have not declared their decision.

"It just is a crazy time," Mr. Cayer said, according to "It's not just LCHS-centric. Rural hospitals everywhere are really trying to figure out how we’re going to make it work."

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