Thousands of unvaccinated city hospital staff may be barred from work as state mandate takes effect


Those staffers will not be allowed to work and will not get paid starting with their Monday shifts, Katz said. If they do show up for work, they will be given a chance to get vaccinated on the spot and resume their duties. If they refuse, they’ll be sent home.

The statewide order for all doctors, nurses, and hospital and nursing home staff to get the shot took effect Monday, sparking concerns about staff shortages at facilities across New York.

But officials said that in the city, the number of unvaccinated workers is small enough that it shouldn’t cause big disruptions.

“All our facilities are open and fully functional,” said Katz, who oversees 11 city-run hospitals.

There is no immediate plan to formally suspend the unvaccinated employees or place them on leave, he said.

Some private healthcare facilities around the five boroughs may see a bigger crunch.

“I do expect that some places where more healthcare workers remain to be vaccinated may have to make some operational adjustments, particularly to ensure that the places that staffing is most important — that’s intensive care units, or operating rooms — are adequately staffed,” said city Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi. “But I do believe that hospitals will be prepared to get through this without a major impact to patient care.”

At city public schools, officials are, for now, reverting to a previous policy requiring employees to either be vaccinated or get tested for Covid-19 once a week.

Monday was the mayor’s deadline for all teachers and staff to get the shot with no testing option, but a federal appeals court halted that over the weekend until a challenge by a group of teachers can be heard.

The mandate has been subject to multiple legal challenges. A separate lawsuit was brought by major unions in state court, but a judge in that case allowed the mayor’s plan to proceed.

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