Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday night signed an executive order that “significantly expands” the eligible health-care workforce and allows additional health-care workers to administer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
The order seeks to “alleviate potential staffing shortages in hospitals and other health-care facilities” now that the deadline for health-care workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has passed.
The New York State Department of Health is leading a 24/7 operations center to “constantly monitor” staffing operations and trends statewide, provide guidance to health-care facilities, and “help troubleshoot acute situations with providers as necessary,” per Hochul’s office.
Her office says Hochul is involved in ongoing outreach with local elected officials, hospitals, labor leaders, and other health-care organizations to check-in on staffing status and offer state assistance.
The executive order also expands the scope of practice for additional health-care workers to allow for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, including an expansion of the ability of midwives, registered nurses, physicians, and nurse practitioners to more easily administer and order COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, as well as flu vaccinations.
Latest health-care worker vaccination rates
The percentage of nursing-home staff statewide receiving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose increased to 92 percent as of Monday evening, up from 70 percent on Aug. 15 before the state vaccine mandate for health-care workers was announced.
The share of adult-care facilities staff receiving at least one vaccine dose increased to 89 percent as of Monday evening, up from 76 percent on Aug. 15.
Preliminary self-reported data shows that the share of hospital staff receiving at least one dose of a COVID vaccine rose to 92 percent as of Monday evening. The percentage of hospital staff fully vaccinated was 84 percent as of Sept. 22, up from 77 percent on Aug. 10 before the vaccine mandate was announced.