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Hochul announces her COVID-19 strategy

Sep 01, 2021 12:45 pm

Ryan Whalen reports at New York State of Politics that Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined her plan to combat COVID-19 in a speech Aug. 31 in Buffalo. She wants to rely more on local health departments and less on state mandates. "I saw firsthand the frustration that they had when they said we have health care professionals who are trained for this. We have done this before. We've done Zika. We've done Ebola. We know how to do measles shots. We've done flu shots. They know what to do. This is just one example of how my administration is going to govern. I'm going to empower the people who are supposed to be doing this. It's not about the ego of the state or the state government or the state governor. It's about empowering local governments to do what they do best,” she said. Hochul announced $65 million for counties to administer booster shots beginning Sept. 20. Hochul also said she would soon mandate schools must have everyone wearing masks, and teachers and staff must be fully vaccinated or be tested weekly, which may mean negotiating collective bargaining agreements. "I'm prepared to have those conversations about what it's going to take," she said. "If more time off is needed for people to do this, makes sense to me. They should get the time off, but this is all subject to immediate negotiations and we're having those conversations right now." A vaccine mandate at state-run and state-licensed facilities will follow after a review committee approves it. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.