New York Hospital Fires 100 Unvaccinated Employees Who Claimed Religious Exemption

Kaleida Health in New York has fired approximately 100 unvaccinated employees who had avoided the vaccine mandate due to religious exemption.

The employees had until Sunday to receive the shot, WIVB reported Tuesday.

The healthcare provider detailed the move in a press release Monday:

Kaleida Health today released the following updates regarding COVID-19, the New York State vaccine mandate as well as a response to the anti-mask protests planned in the community:
In accordance with New York State’s vaccine mandate guidelines for healthcare personnel, Kaleida Health today terminated approximately 100 employees who had previously been granted a religious exemption and chose not to receive their initial vaccination dose by the State’s deadline of Sunday, December 5, 2021. Combined with the previous vaccine mandate deadline in November, approximately 200 personnel have now been separated from the organization.

In August, New York mandated healthcare workers in the state be vaccinated for the coronavirus, then Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in New York. Cuomo says he will resign over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations. The three-term Democratic governor's decision, which will take effect in two weeks, was announced as momentum built in the Legislature to remove him by impeachment. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, in New York. Cuomo says he will resign over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations. The three-term Democratic governor’s decision, which will take effect in two weeks, was announced as momentum built in the Legislature to remove him by impeachment. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“All healthcare workers, including hospital workers and staffers at long-term care facilities, will be forced to get vaccinated by September 27, with limited exceptions,” Breitbart News reported.

Meanwhile, Kaleida Health said it intended to stay open and offer access to services, noting the organization was adding resources and posting positions to continue working with the community:

Given the reduction in workforce, the subsequent reduction in staffed beds, the significant rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations across our facilities, and the spike in COVID-19 cases in our region, Kaleida Health is proactively postponing non-essential elective inpatient surgeries at Buffalo General Medical Center and Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital.

New York faced a possible crisis as the vaccine mandate deadline threatened to result in a shortage of thousands of hospital workers who declined to take the shot, Breitbart News reported in September.

“This is creating an unprecedented crisis for us,” Tom Quatroche, who is the Erie County Medical Center Corporation’s president, said at the time.

“I think we need more time to comply, and I’ve asked for that. For all the right reasons, the vaccine mandate was put in place. But the reality is it is creating a public health crisis in hospitals, with nobody to care for patients,” he added.

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