Governor Hochul issues more vaccine mandates

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul has added vaccine mandates for certain facilities that care for those with mental health and development disabilities.

The new directive will apply to anyone working at the psychiatric hospitals in the Office of Mental Health network. The Governor’s news release says this also applies to those working at the specialty hospital certified by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Those employees will need to receive their first dose by Nov. 1 with no test-out option. Prior to that deadline, weekly testing for the unvaccinated will start on Oct. 12.

The Governor vowed to expand vaccine requirements to human service and mental hygiene care settings in the coming weeks.

The new mandate is in addition to the hospital requirement that took effect on Sept. 27. The most immediate vaccine deadline is on Oct. 7, and that includes adult care facilities, home health agencies, hospice care and other agencies regulated by the state health department.

She also addressed comments she made while speaking at a Sunday service, claiming unvaccinated people "aren’t listening to God and what God wants."

During her briefing Tuesday she was asked if she regretting making that statement.

Hochul said she has no problem being criticized and her comments were a case of "preaching to the choir."

"There are ways to convey a message, and one is to meet people where they are when you are in a church, I get criticized every day of the week, it’s fine, but if I can convince someone to go out and in a sense not be my apostles but apostles for the cause which means you’re out there promoting something because you truly believe in it," Hochul said.

Watch her full briefing in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):

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