(NEW YORK) — Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in New York state, announced Monday that all of its employees have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The move comes just one week after the state issued a vaccine mandate for all health workers.
Northwell Health representatives said in a statement that all of the company’s 76,000 employees, from 23 hospitals and more than 830 outpatient facilities, have received their shots.
“Northwell believes that having a fully vaccinated workforce is an important measure in our duty to protect the health and safety of our staff, our patients and the communities we serve,” the company said in a statement.
A spokesman for the hospital system told ABC News that 1,400 employees were laid off because they did not comply with the mandate.
“Northwell regrets losing any employee under such circumstances, but as health care professionals and members of the largest health care provider in the state, we understand our unique responsibility to protect the health of our patients and each other,” the hospital said. “We owe it to our staff, our patients and the communities we serve to be 100% vaccinated against COVID-19.”
As the deadline for the mandate approached, Gov. Kathy Hochul said that thousands of unvaccinated health care workers got their doses. No hospital in the state was forced to close its doors following the termination of employees who didn’t comply with the mandate.
New York hospitals were the epicenter of the pandemic during the spring of 2020, with bed space scarce in several locations in New York City. Hospital admissions peaked 18,825 on April 12, 2020, according to the New York State Health Department.
Hospitalization rates in the state have seen a jump since the summer, when they hit a low of 349 on July 13, state health data showed. As of Oct. 2, 2,151 people are hospitalized throughout the state, most of whom are unvaccinated patients, according to state health officials.
As of Oct. 4, 71.9% of all New York residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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