NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo is urging local governments to take action against COVID-19 and require vaccines for certain workers if infections continue to get worse.
As COVID-19 infections continue to increase, Cuomo asked local governments to follow new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidance at a press conference on Monday. Current CDC masking guidance suggest that communities that fall into the 'substantial' risk category or higher implement masking.
At the time, the state is not able to require masking state-wide.
Cuomo wants local governments and employers to expand vaccine or test mandates in the state. He urged school districts to consider requiring vaccine or testing for high risk areas.
He also urged other hospitals to required public facing employees be required to have the COVID vaccine. On Wednesday, Cuomo announced that public facing state hospital workers will be required to get vaccinated by Labor Day with no option of daily testing.
"The state did it first and you can use the precedent of the state," Cuomo said.
He suggested that if infection numbers continue to go up, that nursing home workers, teachers and all public facing healthcare workers in the state should be required to be vaccinated.
"I don't believe asking people to take the vaccine is a bad thing, 75% of New Yorkers have done it," Cuomo said. There are 3.4 million unvaccinated New Yorkers.
Cuomo also asked local governments to reach out and incentivise unvaccinated community members to get the vaccine.
Right now masking and vaccine mandates are up to local governments.