More COVID-19 vaccination requirements locally
With the Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly locally and nationally, more and more mask and vaccine requirements are being announced. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 16 that all healthcare workers in New York State, including staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, adult care, and other congregate care settings, will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Monday, September 27. There are also COVID-19 vaccination requirements this fall for football and volleyball players in Albany and Bethlehem schools. In Albany, soccer, tennis, swimming, and cross country athletes must also be vaccinated. Most local schools have announced that masks will be required this year. New York City officials announced that the New York City Police Department will discipline unvaccinated cops who don’t mask up while on the job — regardless if they are indoors or outdoors. Nationally, President Joe Biden's administration will extend requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and buses and at airports and train stations through Jan. 18. Meanwhile, in Greene County, only 55.7 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state's vaccine tracker website. In Columbia County the number is slightly higher, at 63.5 percent. Albany County leads the region at 68.1 percent, followed by Ulster County at 67.2 percent. Dutchess County is at 62.1 percent vaccinated, and Rensselaer County has 61.5 percent of its residents with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.