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Andrew Cuomo Says New York Will Delegate Vaccines to State Workers: NPR

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New York Governor. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 26, 2021.

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Richard Drew/AFP

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Richard Drew/AFP

New York Governor. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference at Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 26, 2021.

Richard Drew/AFP

Albany, NY – New York will require all state employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by Labor Day or to take weekly tests for COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

“It’s smart, sincere, and it’s in everyone’s best interest,” Cuomo said on a phone call with the nonprofit For a Better New York.

In delegating repeated shots or testing to government employees, Cuomo is following the heels of California and New York, which announced similar policies for employees earlier this week.

New York, like other states, has seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases linked to the delta variant. New infections are up more than 400% since the end of June.

Cuomo said vaccinations will be required for workers on the “fore lines” of state-owned hospitals. These employees will not be competent to avoid vaccination by undergoing frequent virus tests. The state operates hospitals in Syracuse, New York, and Long Island.

The Democrat said his administration still needs to talk to union officials about how to implement the policy. Some unions representing government workers in New York City have objected to the “vaccinate or get tested” mandate there, which is set to go into effect in mid-September.

Requests for comment were sent to several unions representing big numbers of state employees.

While overall infection rates in New York are still much lower than during the winter, the voluntary vaccination campaign here has stalled, as it has in most parts of the United States.

Major Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that New York City will sweeten the pot by offering $100 to any city resident who gets a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine at a city-run site.

“We’ll say thank you,” the major said at a virtual news briefing. “We’re going to say we’re really happy you got vaccinated for yourself, your family, and your community, and here’s $100 to thank you for doing the right thing and for encouraging people.”

New York City and the state have already introduced vaccination incentives including lottery tickets, scholarships, free subway rides, and free tickets to museums, sports, and other attractions.

Other areas, including New Mexico and Gadsden, Alabama, were also offered cash payments of $100. Others offered a more limited version—Ohio offers $100 gift cards for Medicaid members who get vaccinated, and West Virginia offers $100 savings bonds for 16- to 35-year-olds who do.

President Joe Biden is considering requiring federal employees to show evidence of vaccination or take routine testing and wear a mask. Vaccines have been issued to workers in an increasing number of hospitals and nursing homes across the United States.


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