A hospital in upstate New York announced Friday it was forced to close its maternity ward following mass resignations over the state’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville, New York will temporarily stop delivering babies after several employees quit. Indeed, New York state has ordered all health-care workers to get their first shot by Sept. 27 or face termination.
“If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to re-engage in delivering babies here in Lewis County, Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer said, per BizPacReview.
In just the maternity ward alone, there have been six resignations, forcing the hospital to pause all deliveries after September 24. But, with another seven employees still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, it could be a longer-than-anticipated pause.
While 30 employees at the hospital decided to get vaccinated following the mandate, an equal number have quit.
“Our hope is as we get closer (to the deadline), the numbers will increase of individuals who are vaccinated, fewer individuals will leave and maybe, with a little luck, some of those who have resigned will reconsider,” Cayer said. “We are not alone. There are thousands of positions that are open north of the Thruway and now we have a challenge to work through, you know, with the vaccination mandate.”
Cayer added that the hospital respects the decision of any employee who chooses not to get vaccinated because it’s ultimately a “personal choice.” He added that the hospital would welcome back any employee who resigned and eventually decides to get vaccinated and return.