"To all the healthcare providers, doctors and nurses in particular who are vaccinated, I say thank you. Because you are keeping true to your oath," Hochul said during a visit to Rochester Wednesday. "To those who won’t, we will be replacing people."
"We are sending out a call statewide. There are facilities, for example in New York City, that 98% of their staff are vaccinated, they don’t have a worker shortage. We are working closely with these hospitals to find out where we can get other individuals to come in and supplement nursing homes and other facilities," she added.
Her comments come after she had already said on Tuesday while visiting the Niagara power project that "those who refuse, we will find replacements."
New York hospitals have already struggled with the vaccine mandate in recent weeks, with nurses in a maternity ward at an upstate hospital resigning over the state's vaccine mandate earlier this month, forcing the hospital to temporarily halt all baby deliveries after Sept. 24.
And more are expected to follow.
Dr. Sarah Klein of the University of Rochester Medical Center told CBS6 that she knew resisting getting the vaccine could cost her job, which was confirmed this month after receiving a letter from the hospital.
"It's kind of hard to see it writing. So it was a pretty sad moment and certainly not what I thought things would come to in my career at this point," Klein said.
Nursing homes have also struggled with staffing shortages, with the head of Patient and Family Care at Strong Memorial Hospital saying it’s difficult finding long term care options as 15 of the nursing homes they refer patients to have paused new admissions.
"We always have a number of patients that are waiting for that nursing home bed offer for a variety of reasons that may be delayed but not to the degree that we are facing today," said Kelly Luther. "It's creating a situation in which we have to be more expansive about our reach for those referrals across the western region."