The latest on coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant –

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Friday that she is mandating all health care workers get a Covid-19 booster shot within two weeks of eligibility.

“Healthcare workers will be asked to do this with no exemptions other than a medical exemption and no test-out options,” Hochul said at a press conference Friday. 

Hochul said New York is the first state in the nation to require a booster shot for health care workers and called it an important priority to prevent healthcare workers from getting sick amid breakthrough Omicron cases.

Hochul said she discussed the mandate with acting Health Commissioner of New York Dr. Mary Bassett.

Bassett will make the recommendation to the state’s Public Health and Health Planning Council at a special meeting being held on Jan. 11. Hochul said she “anticipates swift approval” and the mandate will take effect “immediately.”

The council advises the health commissioner on issues related to public health and also has decision-making responsibilities for state’s public health and health care delivery system, according to the New York State Department of Health.

All health care workers were previously required to be fully vaccinated in September.

As of Friday, there were more than 11,500 people hospitalized for Covid-19 in New York, Hochul said. 

Hochul added that she believes the state is reaching the beginnings of a plateau, although she cautioned it’s not official yet.

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The latest on coronavirus pandemic and Omicron variant –

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