BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Erie County Medical Center Corporation has placed approximately 7% of its total workforce on unpaid leave as a result of New York State's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
According to a spokesperson, that overall number includes 5% of all ECMC hospital staff and 20% of staff at the Terrace View Long-Term Care facility. The data indicates 95% of ECMC hospital's staff meets the current state requirement of having at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, ECMC put several policies in place anticipating the staffing changes due to the vaccine mandate, including suspending elective inpatient surgeries. The hospital is also no longer accepting ICU transfers from other hospitals, with an exception for critical trauma patients.
ECMC's numbers on unvaccinated staff are similar to those reported by other local hospital systems. As of Sunday, Kaleida Health reported 94% compliance and Catholic Health reported 90% compliance with the current vaccine mandate.
On Saturday, Governor Kathy Hochul released the state's plan for potential health care staff shortages ahead of the Monday deadline. The plan includes declaring a state of emergency to increase workforce through the deployment of National Guard members and federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams.
All health care workers in New York State were required to have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Monday, and staff at other covered entities including home care, hospice, and adult care facilities are to be vaccinated by October 7.