Gov. Kathy Hochul’s office of employee relations has now delayed its requirement that state employees get vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly tests to Oct. 12. This will also be the day when workers are scheduled to return to their offices.
According to an all-new memo, the vaccinate-or-test mandate that was to go into effect this week for about 130,000 state workers has been delayed by more than a month to a new deadline of October 12. The memo also broadens mask mandates for vaccinated workers.
Masks must now be worn in state facilities located in places with local mask mandates or in areas with high or substantial transmission of COVID-19 as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a Wednesday briefing, Hochul said “We have to make the workplace itself a safer environment.”
The mandate was first decried by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in late July amid a rise in coronavirus cases linked to the delta variant. As it stands, vaccines would be mandatory for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes, with Cuomo previously giving them until Sept. 27 to receive their first dose. Workers at home care agencies, hospices, and adult care facilities have until Oct. 7 to do the same, according to Hochul.