Northwell Health requiring workers to get vaccinated by Aug. 16 or face weekly testing
Northwell Health, New York's largest health care system, announced Monday it will require employees to get vaccinated by Aug. 16 or face weekly COVID-19 testing.
Workers, including those at Syosset Hospital, will have to be fully vaccinated. Some say it needs to be done to ensure the safety of workers and patients.
Faye Farahani, a pharmacist at Northwell Health, says she stands behind the new policy.
"I absolutely think they should," says Farahani. "Because we are dealing with patients that have lesser immunity and they're sick."
The announcement was made in an email to staff saying, "Anyone not fully vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis beginning Aug. 16. Those who fail to get tested in a timely manner will face adverse action that could progress up to and include termination."
Labor attorney Jeffrey Douglas says tough vaccination rules are becoming more common as the delta variant takes hold. He says other health care systems and different kinds of businesses could soon follow Northwell's lead.
"I think other employers and the board may look to this," says Douglas. "They're going to look to the biggest health care provider in their particular area and say if they're doing it, maybe we should do it too."
The executive director of the New York State Nurses Association says the vaccination is needed in the health care environment to keep both caregivers and patients safe.
So far, 77% of Northwell's workers have been immunized.