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Homeland Security

New York Governor Calls for More Vaccinations for State Employees

By VOA News August 02, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority employees working in state facilities must be vaccinated or face weekly testing, beginning after the Labor Day holiday September 6.

The policy will cover more than 70,000 workers, most of whom are already vaccinated.

Cuomo made the announcement at a news conference in New York, where he also noted, "In our hospitals, public-facing employees must be vaccinated. Not vaccinated or tested once a week. You must be vaccinated."

He said New York "is the first state in the nation to do it."

Last week, Cuomo announced that public-facing state employees working in high-risk situations such those at state hospitals must get vaccinated against COVID-19, with no option for regular testing, and that all other state employees must be vaccinated or face testing.

The policies come after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines, saying fully vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in areas where the delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is causing surges in news cases. That decision comes after studies show even vaccinated people can carry and spread the delta variant, first detected in India.

Cuomo also urged New York's bars and restaurants and other businesses to adopt a policy of only serving vaccinated people. He said Radio City Music Hall and some sporting events have already done this with great success.

The governor said he could not issue mask or vaccine mandates for the general public because that would require the legislature — which has adjourned — to act.

"The best I can do is say, 'I strongly recommend' that they do that. We're in the city of New York. Whatever they put in place, we will follow," Cuomo said.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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