NY hospital puts baby deliveries on hold as maternity workers quit over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

A hospital in upstate New York will put baby deliveries on hold after too many workers in its maternity unit resigned over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to local reports.

Lewis County General Hospital will be forced to temporarily stop all baby deliveries after Sept. 24 due to the staff's refusal to get vaccinated, WWNY-TV reported.

So far, six employees in the hospital’s maternity ward have chosen to resign instead of getting the vaccine, while another seven are undecided, Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer said during a news conference on Friday, according to the station.

"If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to reengage in delivering babies here in Lewis County," Cayer said.

Since the vaccine was mandated for health care workers on Aug. 23, Cayer said that 30 workers have resigned, 20 of whom held clinical roles like nurses, therapists and technicians, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

While 464 of the hospital’s workers have been vaccinated, 165 others have yet to receive the vaccine, Cayer said.

"It just is a crazy time," Cayer told the paper, emphasizing that the hospital will not be shutting down services. "It’s not just LCHS-centric. Rural hospitals everywhere are really trying to figure out how we’re going to make it work."

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