Cuomo: New York State Employees Must Get Coronavirus Vaccine or Take Weekly Tests

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

New York State employees must receive the coronavirus vaccination or otherwise undergo weekly tests, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Wednesday.

“I think we need dramatic action to get control of this situation,” Cuomo said. “So in New York, and in our state hospitals, all patient-facing health care workers must get vaccinated. There will be no testing option for patient-facing health care workers.

“That is a point of contact that could be a serious spreading event and we want to make sure those health care workers are vaccinated — period,” the governor added.

Cuomo also said businesses may “do their part” to combat “vaccine hesitancy” by allowing “only vaccinated people” to work in their establishments.

“I can argue it’s a good business practice,” Cuomo said.

“Because I want to go to a safe restaurant. I want to go to a safe theater. I want to go to a safe bar,” he added.

The development comes after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Monday that all city workers must get the vaccine by September or face weekly coronavirus tests.

The rule is expected to affect about 340,000 city employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the U.S. to take such action.

While it isn’t a vaccine mandate — no workers will be forced to take a shot — officials hope the inconvenience and discomfort of weekly tests will persuade many to overcome a reluctance to get inoculated.

“This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City,” de Blasio said. “This is about keeping people safe.”

But some of the unions representing city workers balked at the announcement, saying the city couldn’t impose the requirement without negotiations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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