NYC hangers for fewer officers, more waste as the wax deadline approaches

Assembly of waste. Closed firehouses. Fewer police and ambulances on the street. That’s the option New York City is preparing for on Monday as a COVID-19 vaccine mandate piles up and thousands of city employees remain reluctant to get shot.

NEW YORK (AP) – Assembly of waste. Closed firehouses. Fewer police and ambulances on the street.

That’s the option New York City is preparing for on Monday as a COVID-19 vaccine mandate piles up and thousands of city employees remain reluctant to get shot.

Police officers, firefighters, garbage collectors and most other city workers face a Friday at. 17.00 deadline to show proof that they have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Non-compliant workers will be put on unpaid leave from Monday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio held on to the mandate as firefighters showed up Thursday outside his official residence, sanitation workers appeared to skip garbage in protest, and the city’s largest police association went to an appeals court to have the vaccine requirement stopped.

Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said the tough deadline “puts the city ready for a real crisis.” Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, warned that longer response times would “be a death sentence for some people.”

De Blasio said Thursday that the city has preparedness to maintain adequate personnel and public safety, including mandatory overtime and extra guards – tools he said were typically used “in times of challenging crisis.”

The mayor called the slowdown in sanitation “unacceptable” and said the department will move to 12-hour and begin work Sunday shifts to ensure waste does not pile up.

“My job is to keep people safe – my employees and 8.8 million people,” de Blasio said at a virtual news briefing. “And until we defeat COVID, people are not safe. If we do not stop COVID, New Yorkers will die.”

People who refuse to be vaccinated are now a major factor in the continued spread of the virus. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

Nearly one-fifth of the city’s employees covered by the forthcoming mandate have not yet received at least one vaccine dose as of Thursday, including 16% of police personnel, 29% of firefighters and EMS workers and 33% of sanitation workers, according to city data. The city’s prison guards have another month to comply.

Thursday at At 20.00, 33,400 urban workers remained unvaccinated.

The fire department said it was prepared to shut down up to 20% of its fire companies and have 20% fewer ambulances in operation while changing schedules, canceling vacations and turning to external EMS providers to compensate for expected staff shortages.

“The department has to deal with the unfortunate fact that part of our workforce has refused to comply with a vaccine mandate for all city employees,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who had COVID-19 in January, said his department sent reminders to workers whose records showed they had not yet received a shot and that NYPD vaccination sites will remain open all weekend.

More than 700 officers were vaccinated Thursday alone, the NYPD said, hurrying to meet the mandate deadline and an additional incentive: workers who get a shot by Friday will receive $ 500.

“On Monday, when this thing really starts to be enforced, we will check the vaccination status, and if you are not vaccinated, no pay and you will not be able to work,” Shea said in a video message Wednesday to officers. “I don’t think anyone wants that to happen. I do not think you want that to happen. I certainly do not. We need you out there. “

Fire officials are holding virtual meetings with staff and asking them to get vaccinated.

A Staten Island judge on Wednesday rejected a police association’s request for a temporary blockade of the mandate, but she ordered city officials into her courtroom next month to explain why the claim should not be overturned. If the mandate is considered illegal, workers on leave will be reimbursed, the city said.

Mike Salsedo, 44, was among hundreds of firefighters protesting Thursday outside de Blasio’s residence, Gracie Mansion. He said he believes he has natural immunity to COVID-19 after having the disease last year and does not need to be vaccinated, a position that is contrary to consensus among public health experts.

“I am a believing man and I do not believe it is good to put anything man-made into my body,” Salsedo said.

Another firefighter, Jackie-Michelle Martinez, said the ability to choose was “our God-given right” when she questioned the city’s decision to move away from its previous policy, which allowed workers to stay on the job if they had a negative COVID-19 test.

“If the weekly test works, why are you eliminating it, Mayor de Blasio?” she asked.

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for law enforcement officers in the United States, and has killed 498 officers since the start of 2020, compared to 102 gun deaths, according to Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police deaths.

De Blasio on Thursday credited the impending deadline for moving the needle on vaccinations across the city government. In the last week, the number of affected workers who have received at least one dose increased from 71% to 79%.

When the state demanded that all workers in hospitals and nursing homes be vaccinated, one last minute of people to comply meant that a few facilities experienced staffing challenges.

“We expected that many of the vaccinations would happen towards the end of the deadline,” de Blasio said. “We also know that a lot of people make the decision when they really realize they’re not getting paid. It’s just human reality.”

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