SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — At least 14 unvaccinated workers who had been suspended from Upstate University Hospital have changed their minds in the last 24 hours to return back to work.
Thursday, Upstate reported 113 workers who had been fired or suspended.
Friday, in an interview with NewsChannel 9, University President Dr. Mantash Dewan said the number of unvaccinated people dropped just below 100.
Dr. Dewan said, “We’re giving everybody an opportunity and people taking it. I’m very pleased. I think we have a great workforce. We will be fine.”
The vacant positions are being managed through a reduction of operating rooms in service, a pause on non-emergency surgeries and staff working overtime.
Governor Kathy Hochul has offered struggling hospitals use of the National Guard, nurses still in training, or medical professionals from other states and countries not licensed to practice in New York.
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras says that his system’s three hospitals have remained self-sufficient, despite the loss of workforce.
“We have not had to rely on outside resources, outside personnel,” said Chancellor Malatras. “We hope to keep it that way because we want continuity of our own services in our facilities.”
“People are doing well,” said Dr. Dewan “Stepping up and taking care of each other. Hopefully we will start rebuilding very soon.”
Upstate Hospital will allow suspended workers to get vaccinated and return to work. The grace period allowed is up to each employee’s union contract.