Medical Vaccination Mandate Remains in New York After Federal Emergency Ends | News

Albany (TNS) — The nationwide COVID-19 public health emergency was lifted on Thursday, marking a symbolic end to a health crisis that has roiled society and killed more than a million people in the United States. — but the change will likely make little difference to daily life in New Jersey In York, where many coronavirus restrictions are already being phased out.

Federal action removes vaccination requirements for government-funded hospitals and nursing homes, while state-level COVID-19 regulations remain in force, leaving healthcare workers vulnerable in New York State not become

New York City’s own pandemic emergency declaration officially ended on September 12. The last area where government mandates for mask-wearing, testing and vaccinations have been relaxed is healthcare. The state’s mandatory mask-wearing requirement for health care workers expired in February, and many medical facilities have since lifted mask-wearing requirements.

But local health officials say it’s also time to relax vaccination requirements (which have no expiration date but are subject to change) so they can rehire staff and alleviate shortages.

At St. Peter’s Health Partners, which lost approximately 500 employees when this mandate took effect, Dr. Steven D. Hanks, President and CEO, said many former employees had returned to work. There have been reports of interest in returning.

“We know there are a certain number of them who will return to work once their obligations are lifted,” Hanks said. “What I hope is that the Department of Health and other stakeholders in the state realize that it is not really necessary at this time to protect the health of the public.”

More than a year into the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, new antiviral drugs are keeping hospitalizations in check, medical leaders say Says. Hanks said the five affiliated hospitals of St. Peter’s Hospital together account for less than one COVID-19 patient each day.

“The department is considering the following actions for health care workers in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities,” Cadence Acquaviva, spokesman for the state health department, said.

During the pandemic, health emergency declarations allowed governments to enact hundreds of policies and flexibility to facilitate pandemic response efforts. While many of these changes have slowly receded, the end of the federal emergency will still change access to healthcare in some ways.

What has changed?While insurance coverage for COVID-19 testing will end, the federal government will maintain stockpiles of test kits and make them available free of charge at select local locations, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services It says. Free tests are also available through through the end of May.

According to the Reading Age New York, which represents the state’s 5,600 nonprofit long-term care facilities, the lifting of the federal public health emergency is also affecting long-term care facilities, which are requiring COVID-19 testing and visitation. requirements will be relaxed. New entrants to nursing homes, for example, will no longer be exposed to mass screening for COVID-19 testing unless they have symptoms.

Certain COVID-19 data reporting and monitoring changes. The federal government will no longer require laboratories to report COVID-19 test results, requiring hospitals to report COVID-19 cases weekly instead of daily.

What’s left?According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, access to COVID-19 vaccinations and certain treatments, such as Paxlovid and Lajevrio, is generally unaffected at this time. But if the federal government stops purchasing or distributing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, payments, coverage, and access could change.

The telemedicine flexibility that Medicare subscribers rely on during the pandemic will continue through December 2024.

Health officials continue to recommend that everyone in the United States over the age of six months be vaccinated against COVID-19. The state has launched a new campaign to remind New Yorkers with underlying medical conditions to be aware of the risks of COVID-19 and the importance of staying up to date and staying on recommended dosages.

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