Mayor Bill de Blasio will mandate that employees of the city’s public hospital and health clinic systems be vaccinated for the coronavirus — or submit to weekly testing for COVID-19, The Post has learned.
The order, to be announced Wednesday, will cover Health and Hospitals employees and those who work at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s public clinics, sources said.
It will take effect beginning in August.
“We’re in a new era of COVID where there’ve been millions of people vaccinated and hospitalizations rates have gone down, but cases are rising and we need to make sure our health care facilities are as safe as possible,” said a senior administration official. “That’s the logic.
The move comes as the officials try to head off a COVID resurgence fueled by the new Delta variant, which is far easier to catch than previous versions of the virus, but whose effects are minimal for those who have been fully vaccinated.
De Blasio has grown publicly frustrated with the slowing rate of vaccinations months into the shots’ rollouts — particularly with employees of the city’s sprawling public hospital system.
Fewer than 60 percent of H&H’s staff are fully vaccinated despite having been first in line for the shots months ago, The Post revealed Monday.
That’s lagging the city’s overall pace. So far, 64.6 percent of New York City adults have been completely vaccinated and 69.8 percent have gotten at least the first dose.
Hizzoner promised his administration would be making “making additional announcements” about stepping up the city’s vaccination drive in the coming days during his Tuesday briefing, as he was peppered with questions about the matter.
“This is literally a matter of life and death,” he said. “At a certain point, personal responsibility actually matters.”
“So, we’ve been really nice, really communicative, really respectful,” de Blasio continued. “Come on people, it’s time to step forward — and we’re going to make that real clear.”
Recent studies have made the vaccine’s effectiveness clear.
The city Health Department and Yale University released a report this week that revealed the city’s vaccination drive had prevented an estimated 8,000 deaths and more than 40,000 hospitalizations — and that just 1.1 percent of COVID cases occurred among fully vaccinated New Yorkers.
New Jersey officials also touted similar findings in their state after a study revealed that fully vaccinated residents there accounted for less than 1 percent of COVID infections.
But the more-contagious nature of the delta variant is forcing officials across the country to take new steps to try to contain the virus as case counts begin to tick upward again.
Officials in Los Angeles recently reimposed masking requirements for many indoor activities to try to limit the spread.
And like in LA, New York has seen its case counts and testing rates tick upward over the past few weeks as the Delta variant came to account for 41 percent of sampled cases, according to Health Department stats.
Currently, an average of 1.72 percent of COVID tests taken in the five boroughs over the last seven days have come back positive, according to stats posted Tuesday. That’s nearly double the rate from the .96 percent reported by the same average on July 5.