First New York State required its health care workers to be vaccinated.  Now, they are taking things a step further, becoming the first state in the union to require their health care workers to get a booster shot.

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New York Governo Kathy Hochul announced today that New York State will now require health care workers to get a booster shot, within two weeks of being eligible to receive one.  The new mandate is expected to take effect next Tuesday, January 11th.

Governo Hochul said, at her COVID briefing today:

They work with ourr most vulnerable New Yorkers. We need to make sure that our health care workers are now boosted - not just vaccinated - but they have to be boosted

The state's health care workers will be able to choose which booster they want to receive,  the Moderna or Pfizer.  The state's current vaccine mandate for those in the health care industry does allow for medical exemptions but does not have an option for workers to submit a COVID-19 test, in lieu of the vaccine requirement.

The mandate will have to be approved by the Public Health and Health Planning Council, which meets next Tuesday.


The Governor went on to say:

We've already seen what's been happening in our healthcare environments. Staff is getting sick, they're leaving. We need them to get well, we need them to have the best fortification they possibly can

Locally, COVID levels continue to rise here in Erie County, where the daily positivity rate of 26.8% shattered the previous single-day record. The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) announced today, that it will be sending out nearly 40,000 COVID-19 at-home test kits across the county.

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