Dozens of people gather in Olean to protest against state vaccination warrants | New

OLEAN – Protests against New York State’s vaccination warrants continued on Friday with several dozen people from across the region gathered in Lincoln Park to voice their frustrations and concerns.

At 6:30 p.m., people lined up on East State Street opposite the Olean Municipal Building and nearby and even the State and Union roundabout.

Many people in the crowd carried American flags or signs with messages like “Do Not Comply”, “Unmask Our Children” and “Stop the Warrant”. People of all ages participated, including young children. Almost no one wore a mask.

Event organizer Ciara Buchanan said frontline workers have served and worked during the pandemic “serving and protecting, giving untold time and energy, day in and day out,” and the did without a vaccine.

Praised as heroes and essential workers last year, and now they are this year’s persecuted and public health threat for simply making a personal choice not to inject into their bodies something they are not with. 100% comfortable, ”said Buchanan of Olean.

Public health officials including Dr Kevin D. Watkins, Cattaraugus County Public Health Director, regularly urge residents to receive the vaccines as protection against COVID-19 and to mitigate the spread – particularly of the Delta variant, more contagious.

The Olean General Hospital announced on Monday that 11 workers had recently resigned due to the state’s mandate to vaccinate against COVID-19.

The hospital – which employs 840 people, officials from the Upper Allegheny Health System parent group say – encourages staff to get vaccinated, but warns state and federal officials against requiring vaccines without a withdrawal system. tests that would keep hundreds of workers on the payroll amid a new wave of the disease.

Hospital administration was not aware of the protest scheduled for Friday or the presence of Olean General employees, Dennis McCarthy, a spokesperson for the hospital, said on Friday.

“If they’re protesting the vaccine mandate, it’s a New York state problem,” he said. “All hospitals are affected by this, not just Olean. “

RACHEL PONKA, a registered nurse with the OGH for 10 years, said she was concerned that a forced tenure could collapse the health care system if so many employees were forced to resign. She said all aspects of the healthcare industry would be affected and more people would suffer.

“We have a very serious shortage right now and the mandate has not even come into effect,” she said. “Olean General has 250 people who have not been vaccinated. It is the janitorial staff, receptionists, nurses, orderlies, it is ultimately. People don’t realize how badly these facilities are going to be affected.

Announced in August by the government of the day. Andrew Cuomo, the plan calls for hospitals and nursing homes to be 100% compliant by September 27, while adult care facilities have until October 7. If staff members are not in compliance, termination is the expected course of action.

However, a federal judge in Utica temporarily suspended the order on Tuesday while a case involving 17 doctors and nurses in the Northern District of New York is decided.

Since then, McCarthy has said some hospital workers have chosen to receive a vaccine. He said he did not have an update on whether more employees had resigned.

Ponka said it was crucial that health facilities in the region remain staffed. She said she spoke to staff at other establishments and that many were unsure how they would operate if a significant number of employees were forced to resign.

“It’s about keeping people safe, and the way to do that is to have people take care of them,” she added.

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Meanwhile, the school New York districts learned in early September that districts will be required to test employees weekly according to the latest guidelines from the state Department of Health. Those who are fully vaccinated will have the option to opt out of the test by providing proof of vaccination.

In addition, everyone inside a school building must wear a mask at all times, regardless of immunization status. On school buses, passengers and drivers must wear masks.

“I don’t think we should let the government dictate whether or not we should wear a mask or have a vaccine. It should be a person’s individual choice, ”said Mark Schindlbeck.

“And parents should be able to decide for their children not to be vaccinated,” added Christine Wheeler.

Schindlbeck noted that they are both vaccinated, but the warrants and the lack of information about the long-term effects of the vaccine is something people have a right to be concerned about.

“We want others to know that people who might feel like they don’t want to be forced to get the vaccine or that their children are wearing a mask that they are not alone,” Wheeler said.

Franklinville resident Schindlbeck said not every town holding its own protest would be as effective as everyone meeting in a more populated area.

“We don’t tend to do things like that, but we kind of got pushed into it,” he added.

COME TOGETHER defending medical freedom is the reason Jim Cline said he attended the event.

“Choice. It’s all about freedom of choice,” he said.

A resident of Cuba, Cline said the government was wrong in trying to get people to receive the vaccine. He said his wife, who is a teacher, needs to be tested every week because she is not vaccinated. But he noted that those who are vaccinated do not have to be tested, although the vaccinated can still contract COVID-19 and pass it on to others.

Cline also noted what he called the inconsistencies and lack of information on vaccine-related injuries and deaths as a concern.

“We have our constitutional rights, and this is being violated,” he added. “I think saying they don’t force us is a lie.”

AT THE FEDERAL level, President Biden last week demanded that all private employers in the country with more than 100 workers require weekly vaccinations or tests, affecting an estimated 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers in healthcare facilities who receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also need to be fully immunized.

Biden is also demanding vaccination for executive employees and contractors who do business with the federal government – without the ability to test. This covers several million additional workers.

The United States Food and Drug Administration gave full approval for the Pfizer COVID vaccine last month, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still being distributed under emergency FDA approvals.

Health officials had hoped that formal approval of the Pfizer vaccine would encourage more skeptics to receive it, but reluctance over the vaccine remained a strong theme across the country.

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