Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville, New York, will temporarily stop delivering babies after several maternity-unit workers resigned over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, 7 News reported.
At least six employees in the maternity quit because they didn't want to get vaccinated. And another seven are undecided about doing so, according to Lewis County Health System chief executive officer, Gerald Cayer.
The hospital will be unable to safely staff the unit, Cayer told the outlet, and will pause the service after September 24.
"If we can pause the service and now focus on recruiting nurses who are vaccinated, we will be able to reengage in delivering babies here in Lewis County," Cayer said.
Cayer told the outlet he hopes the situation will be temporary. He plans to work with the state Department of Health to ensure the maternity unit won't permanently close down.
According to Cayer, 165 employees are yet to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The remaining 464 hospital workers have received their vaccinations.
In a recent announcement, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enforced a new policy to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The policy required all healthcare workers at hospitals to get vaccinated by September 27.
Cayer said the announcement pushed 30 employees to get vaccinated, while another 30 quit.
"Our hope is as we get closer (to the deadline), the numbers will increase of individuals who are vaccinated, fewer individuals will leave and maybe, with a little luck, some of those who have resigned will reconsider," Cayer told