Vaccine mandate, lack of workers lead to maternity ward shut down in Lewis County hospital

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LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WHEC) — The maternity unit at a New York State hospital is being shut down over the vaccine mandate and lack of workers.

Wednesday News10NBC learned more about the situation at Lewis County General Hospital.

Six employees were all it took to have to temporarily close the unit, and the Lewis County Health System’s CEO Gerald Cayer said more services could be on the chopping block if unvaccinated staff members follow suit.

"If they choose not to get vaccinated that’s their call, we respect it, but we do need to have a vaccinated workforce," Cayer said. "It is not an option, and so we are working toward that end."

Thirty-six people have recently resigned, most of them nurses.

The hospital’s now putting five other departments on a "watch list" for possible service cuts.

Wednesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said they will send resources if necessary, adding, "this is not going to be a problem for New York."