SUNY Downstate is performing fewer surgeries because some staff members haven’t complied with New York State’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
“In preparation for anticipated staff reductions due to the state vaccination mandate, SUNY Downstate adjusted its surgical schedule, delayed outpatient radiology appointments, canceled elective C-sections or inductions, and consolidated Bay Ridge [9036 7th Ave.] OR operations to the main OR at the University Hospital of Brooklyn [450 Clarkson Ave.],” the hospital said in a statement.
The mandate began Sept. 27 and Gov. Kathy Hochul said the decision was the right one.
“I will stand with that,” Hochul said. “It’s hard to force people to do something that you truly wish they would do voluntarily. But I kept focusing on the people who, when they get sick, someone’s in a car accident, they present themselves to a hospital. Or an expectant mom is making sure all her family members are vaccinated, so when the baby comes home that the baby will be safe.”
However, NBC News said a judge issued a temporary and partial injunction against Hochul’s vaccine mandate for health care workers for religious exemptions on Sept. 30.
Hochul said 92 percent of hospital staff had received at least one dose of vaccine.