Cuomo: Teachers, others may face mandatory vaccination if COVID-19 numbers keep rising

The governor said during his briefing that, in his opinion, school districts should start telling teachers to either get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 every week.

News 12 Staff

Aug 2, 2021, 7:35 PM

Updated 988 days ago

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that he recommends making it mandatory for teachers, health care workers and nursing home staff to get vaccinated if COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.
Cuomo says it's important for these workers to get the vaccine because they come into contact with many people.
The governor said during his briefing that, in his opinion, school districts should start telling teachers to either get vaccinated or get tested for COVID-19 every week.
"School opens in one month. If you don't set a policy today, you're going to have chaos when school opens," says Cuomo. "It'll be impossible for a teacher to get the two shots done."
Nassau BOCES Superintendent Bob Dillon says in light of what the governor suggested he's meeting with other Nassau superintendents to discuss strategies for the fall. Dillon says they can't just force teachers to get vaccinated.
"We have no power to mandate vaccination."
The New York State United Teachers union says it's critical that districts come up with plans to make on-site COVID testing available and free. However, the union doesn't support a vaccine mandate.
The union issued a statement saying, "We have advocated since the beginning of the year that any educator who wants a vaccine should have easy access to one. We would support local efforts to encourage more vaccinations, such as through programs that require that those who are not vaccinated get tested on a regular basis. But it's critical that districts come up with plans to make testing available on-site and at no cost. What we have not supported is a vaccine mandate."
Nursing homes like Nassau Rehabilitation and the union representing health care workers at Nassau University Medical Center tell News 12 they're waiting on more specific guidance from the state about enforcing mandatory vaccination for their employees.


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