Gallahan Drafts Letter To Gov. And Health Commissioner Requesting Testing Alternative For Unboosted Health Care Workers

Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R,C-Manchester) has written a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul and Commissioner of Health Mary T. Bassett imploring them to consider allowing health care workers to take regular COVID-19 tests should they not wish to receive their booster shot. Many fear, if implemented as planned on February 21, that this mandate would have an adverse effect on hospital staffing levels.

Since the implementation of the initial vaccination mandate last fall, hospitals throughout New York have struggled to maintain a level of staff necessary to provide sufficient care for patients due to the loss of staff who did not wish to comply with the mandate. Gallahan and his colleagues are seeking to avoid a similar situation following the implementation of a booster mandate.

“When our hospitals aren’t sufficiently staffed, entire communities are put at risk, making it difficult for hospitals to provide proper care to patients,” said Gallahan. “Offering an option for those not wanting a booster shot to regularly test would ensure people needing care can get it, and would also preserve the livelihoods of the health care heroes who have worked tirelessly throughout the last two years to save lives on the front lines of the pandemic. With all they’ve done to heal our loved ones and neighbors, it would be incredibly callous to suddenly dismiss them when we could easily implement a reasonable alternative to a vaccination mandate. It is no exaggeration to say lives are on the line, so I sincerely hope the governor and health commissioner will do what’s best for patients and their caregivers, because if we lose more hospital staff we’ll start losing more patients too.”