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Cuomo: All state workers must get COVID-19 vaccine or face regular testing, effective Labor Day

As cases of the Delta variant increase, the governor says all local governments should follow suit and require vaccines for government workers.

ALBANY, N.Y. — As cases of the Delta variant continue to grow and spread, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the wheels are in motion to require all state employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

In a virtual briefing for a New York City business organization, Cuomo said Wednesday that work is underway with state unions to implement the order effective this Labor Day, September 6. Those who choose not to get vaccinated will face regular COVID testing.

In addition, the governor said for state hospitals, all patient-facing healthcare workers must get vaccinated. There will not be a testing option for those workers. He is urging all other hospitals around the state to take the same action.

Cuomo is following on the heels of California and New York City, which announced similar policies for employees earlier this week. New York, like other states, has seen a rising number of coronavirus cases linked to the Delta variant. New infections have climbed more than 400% since the end of June.

Also, if case numbers continue to go up, Cuomo is urging school districts in affected areas to strongly consider taking more aggressive measures to ensure schools don't become superspreaders once classes resume in September. In response to a question as to whether it should be mandatory for teachers to be vaccinated, Cuomo would only say, "School districts need to keep a sharp eye on the numbers and if the numbers continue to grow, they need to consider taking dramatic action." 

As the state economy continues to slowly recover from the effects of the pandemic, the governor is urging private sector businesses to bring their employees back into the office. Cuomo says this can be done safely and smartly and also suggested Labor Day as a target date to make it happen.