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COVID-19 live updates: New York delays booster mandate for health care workers

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(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.8 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 935,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 64.7% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Feb 21, 7:24 am
New York delays booster mandate for health care workers

New York health officials announced the state will delay enforcement of its booster requirement for health care workers in an effort to avoid potential staffing issues.

The mandate had been scheduled to go into effect on Monday.

“While we are making progress with 75% of staff received or are willing to receive their booster, the reality is that not enough healthcare workers will be boosted by next week’s requirement in order to avoid substantial staffing issues in our already overstressed healthcare system,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said in a statement on Friday. “That is why we are announcing additional efforts to work closely with healthcare facilities and ensure that our healthcare workforce is up to date on their doses.”

In three months, the state will reassess whether additional steps will be needed to increase booster uptake among healthcare workers, officials said. The original vaccination requirement for healthcare workers remains in effect.

“The vaccine and booster are critical tools to keep both healthcare workers and their patients safe, and we continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose when eligible,” Bassett said.

The state said it will work closely with hospitals to increase booster rates among healthcare workers.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulous

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