A hospital in New York plans to stop delivering babies later this month because too many maternity workers resigned rather than get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Lewis County Health System Chief Executive Officer Gerald R. Cayer announced at a news conference Friday afternoon that the maternity department would be closed on Sept. 25 until they can find enough vaccinated nurses to safely reopen it.
Cayer told reporters in Lowville, is the North Country of New York state, that seven of the 30 people who have resigned from the hospital worked in the maternity department, according to the news site NNY360.
Seven additional maternity workers have not said whether or not they will get their first vaccine shot by Sept. 27, which is the deadline set by the state for healthcare workers to get at least one shot, according to the news site.
The health system has a higher than average percentage of its staff vaccinated, Cayer told reporters, with 464 employees vaccinated out of 650, or 73 percent.
But there are still 165 employees who have not yet shared their decision with hospital management, WWNY television news reported.
Medical services in five other departments may have to be cut back as well if more staff members resign because they refuse to be vaccinated
“It just is a crazy time,” Mr. Cayer said, according to NNY360, “It’s not just LCHS-centric. Rural hospitals everywhere are really trying to figure out how we’re going to make it work.”
“If you don’t have staff, how do you deliver the service? That’s what I’m going to be talking about,” Cayer said.
The Health System is one of only two county-owned hospitals left in the state and is the largest employer in the county.