LOWVILLE N.Y. — A New York hospital that specializes in delivering babies from upstate New York will not be able to deliver any more babies until later this month. This is partly due to employee resignations regarding a requirement that they all be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Watertown Daily Times reported that six maternity staff members quit Lewis County General Hospital over the past week. This could worsen an already severe staff shortage. Officials at the hospital said that seven other employees from the department are unvaccinated and could also decide to leave.
“The number and quality of resignations has forced us to stop delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital,” said Chief Executive Gerald Cayer at a press conference. “I hope the (state) Department of Health joins us in pausing this service instead of closing the maternity section.”
Authorities said that five other departments may also have to be cut if employees decide not to comply with the Sept. 27 deadline.
Cayer reported that 30 people quit since the announcement of the vaccine mandate last month. The majority of these were nurses, technicians, or therapists. He said that thirty other people have received at least one dose.
Cayer stated that mandate does not put essential health services at risk. “The mandate guarantees we will have a strong workforce. We aren’t responsible for COVID-19 transmission into or out of any of our facilities.”