Resignations over vaccine mandate forces hospital to shut down maternity ward

An upstate New York hospital announced on Friday that it would pause baby deliveries in its maternity ward over an epidemic of resignations related to the state’s COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

“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,” said Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald Cayer according to a report by  WWNY.

In the maternity ward alone, there have been six resignations which will cause the hospital to halt delivery services after September 24, a situation Cayer hopes is temporary. However, another seven employees in the unit are still on the fence about the shot which could lead to a longer than hoped-for “pause” in services.

Halting baby deliveries, even temporarily, had many people scratching their heads about the logistics of such a statement as biology typically dictates when a baby is ready to come out of the oven.

Jesse Kelly, host of the nationally syndicated “Jesse Kelly Show,” didn’t question the pause on deliveries, but instead reacted to the hospital’s announcement with a resounding affirmation that resignations and boycotts were the best way to oppose the mandates.

“More. Give me more of this,” Kelly tweeted. “Bring The System to its knees. Make them feel pain. Boycott. Resign en-mass. Rebel.”

While the mandate has encouraged 30 employees to roll up their sleeves, an equal number have walked out the door instead.

“Our hope is as we get closer (to the deadline), 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,” Cayer said, who oversees some 629 employees. “We are not alone. There are thousands of positions that are open north of the Thruway and now we have a challenge to work through, you know, with the vaccination mandate.”

There are 165 hospital workers, making up 27 percent of the workforce, who have not yet get gotten the “Fauci-ouchie.”

The remaining 464 hospital workers, or 73 percent, have been inoculated against COVID-19.

Cayer indicated that the hospital respects the decision of any employee who decides to not get the shot, indicating that it is a “personal choice.”  Although he said the hospital would welcome back any employee who resigned but later has a change of heart and decides to get the vaccine, there is no indication on how long that offer will be honored.

Many were quick to criticize those willing to resign, but others agreed with Kelly that the only way to fight back was to resign and not give even an inch.

Others found some humor in the situation.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a vaccine mandate on August 16 for the state’s estimated 625,500 healthcare workers including all staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings. The deadline to comply is September 27 and has limited exceptions for religious or medical reasons.

The announcement may be foreshadowing to the future implications of President Joe Biden’s announcement last week imposing an unprecedented nationwide COVID-19 vaccine mandate on all federal employees as well as private businesses with 100 or more employees.

Ashley Hill


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