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This New York hospital is going to ‘pause’ delivering babies because of COVID-19

A New York hospital will stop baby deliveries because staffers quit over the COVID-19 vaccine

Registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
A registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in the Staten Island borough of New York.
Mary Altaffer, Associated Press

The Lewis County Health System in New York has decided to “pause” delivering babies after a number of staffers quit their jobs rather than get vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Per NBC News, the hospital said it was forced to pause deliveries because employees refused to get the COVID-19 vaccines, which led to a staff shortage.

Why did a New York hospital pause baby deliveries?

The system said it is expecting a number of resignations over the system’s vaccination mandate. So far, six staffers have resigned and seven others are expected to do soon. Right now, about 165 hospital staffers, about 27% of the workforce, remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, according to The Washington Post.

  • “We are unable to safely staff the service after Sept. 24,” said Lewis County CEO Gerald R. Cayer, according to NBC News. “The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital.”

When will the pause on baby deliveries end?

However, the move will likely be temporary. Right now, the hospital wants to work on recruiting new staffers so deliveries can kick up again.

This is the result of former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mandate that all health care workers in New York must get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to USA Today.

  • Specifically, staff workers at hospitals and long-term care facilities need to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27.

Cayer said he hopes the recruiting efforts go well. The goal is to keep all health care workers vaccinated so there’s less chance of spreading COVID-19 in the hospital system, according to The Washington Post.

  • “Our hope is as we get closer (to the deadline),” he said, “the numbers will increase of individuals who are vaccinated, fewer individuals will leave, and, maybe, with a little luck, some of those who have resigned will reconsider.”