New York hospitals want more time to comply with COVID-19 booster mandate

A statewide group representing 500 hospitals and systems, nursing homes, home care agencies, hospices, adult day programs and other continuing care providers is asking New York Gov. Kathy Hochul for more time to comply with the state's requirement for healthcare workers to receive COVID-19 booster shots.

A Feb. 15 letter from the Healthcare Association of New York State to the governor shared with Becker's seeks a 90-day delay in enforcing the booster deadline.

"With our healthcare workforce in crisis and burned-out staff leaving the field, the state must carefully consider the impact of its policies on the availability of staff, which directly impacts patient care," the letter states. "Many of our members cannot sustain the additional loss of staff without affecting the availability of services in their communities."

The governor announced the booster mandate Jan. 7,  pending approval from the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council. The council adopted the mandate Jan. 11, citing the importance of booster doses to maximize protection against infection and the increased challenges and urgency for controlling the spread of COVID-19 in healthcare facilities.  

The state mandate allows for some medical exemptions but does not include a test-out option. The booster mandate deadline is Feb. 21. 

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