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Brooks-TLC says vaccination mandate could affect 9% of workforce

Brooks Memorial Hospital

New York state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate could put the Brooks-TLC Hospital System in Dunkirk in a pinch when it comes to staffing.

On Friday, the hospital indicated a potential 9% loss of its workforce is being anticipated starting on Monday as 51 of the 573 employees have opted to remain unvaccinated.

“We are getting there,” said Mary LaRowe, president and chief executive officer of Brooks-TLC, “but the 9 percent not vaccinated is still 9 percent of our workforce. And, while that number is on par with what other Western New York hospitals face, in a rural healthcare system the size of ours, the loss challenges our operations.”

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August mandated that all health care workers get their first dose of the vaccine by Sept. 27. All other health care facilities — including diagnostic and treatment centers, home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, school-based clinics and hospice care programs — must have workers vaccinated by Oct. 7.

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