Cuomo: New York Needs ‘Vaccination Policy’ Mask Policy Not Enough
Gov. Cuomo is hinting at new vaccine mandates if the COVID situation gets worse because a mask policy is not "enough."
On Monday, Gov. Cuomo said 31 counties in New York should follow the CDC's guidance and make all residents wear a mask indoors. However, Cuomo is hinting at new vaccine mandates if the COVID situation gets worse.
"Everybody is talking about mask policies right now, but I don't believe a mask policy is going to be enough - we need to talk about a vaccination policy," Governor Cuomo said.
Last week, Cuomo said dramatic action is needed to slow COVID in New York. He then announced all patient-facing healthcare workers at state-run hospitals must get vaccinated. Testing is not an option.
Cuomo also announced New York State will mandate all state employees either be vaccinated or get tested regularly.
On Monday, Cuomo said all MTA and Port Authority employees must get a COVID vaccine by Labor Day or submit to weekly testing.
"We've taken the first step by mandating that all state employees get the vaccine or get tested weekly, and we're expanding on that by requiring all MTA and Port Authority workers to do so as well," Cuomo announced.
Cuomo wants school districts in areas of high COVID transmission to issue a vaccine mandate.
"If a teacher doesn't want to be vaccinated, fine, then don't be in front of a classroom," Cuomo said.
The New York State United Teachers union does not support mandatory vaccines.
“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," New York State United Teachers said in a statement.
Cuomo said if numbers don't go down he would consider mandatory vaccines for nursing homes, all public-facing healthcare workers and teachers.
"The state is leading the way, but local governments, schools, public hospitals and even businesses should start considering mandatory vaccinations as well because if these numbers start to rise quickly, we can't afford to go backward and lose the progress we've already made," Cuomo said.