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Some Northern NY health care workers lose jobs over vaccine mandate

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 9:46 AM EDT
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - The vaccination mandate at New York hospitals and nursing homes went into effect at midnight, which means health care workers were faced with getting a COVID-19 shot or losing their jobs.

We checked in with hospitals in our region to see how the mandate impacted staff.

At CVPH, the largest hospital in the region with nearly 3,000 employees, 12 workers were let go, 47 people were granted religious exemptions and five were granted medical exemptions.

Alice Hyde in Malone has nearly 800 employees. Sixteen of them parted ways with the hospital, 20 staff members were granted religious exemptions and seven are medically exempt.

Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake lost seven employees across its network.

The Elizabethtown Community Hospital had five employees leave, seven were granted religious exemptions and one got a medical exemption.

CVPH and Alice Hyde say they are redeploying staff to needed departments and looking to fill the open positions with traveling staff for the time being.

“We did work with every department to identify contingency plans in the event we weren’t able to close the gaps. We did close the gaps very significantly but we are asking people to do their work differently. We do have backup plans in the event that we need to respond differently, maintain volumes across the organization and just look at how we do our work,” said Carrie Howard-Canning, the chief nursing officer at CVPH.

The order went into effect at midnight to help with the staffing shortages that will allow medical professionals from out of state to help fill in the missing gaps.

The hospital says it’s still too new for them to know what that means in their health care setting.

We did not hear back on the numbers from the Elizabethtown Community Hospital before this story was published.

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