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NYS not imposing vaccine mandates on workers, for now

COVID-19 vaccination needle is being inserted into an arm
Rogelio V. Solis
Associated Press

As worries about the increasing Delta variant grow, New York City and the state of California announced Monday that government workers will have to get vaccinated or submit to weekly tests for the coronavirus.

Teachers in New York City will need to follow the same requirements beginning in September.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not announcing similar plans for New York state workers, and hinted that New York City’s order might not even be legal.

“The state would have to legislate to say New York City employees ... would have to be vaccinated,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said New York will combat the spread of the Delta variant by increasing efforts to reach the unvaccinated; $15 million will go to community-based organizations in key ZIP codes with low vaccination rates to try to persuade people to get the shot.

The groups include the Hispanic and Asian-American Federations, the New York Immigration Coalition and the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.

As of Sunday, 74.6% of New Yorkers over the age of 18 have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 56.6% of all New Yorkers are fully vaccinated.

Cuomo said if the state’s vaccination numbers don't go up, the Delta variant will likely drive a surge in infections.

"We can’t go through this again," he said.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.