People.com Lifestyle Health New York Hospital to 'Pause' Delivering Babies after Staffers Resign Due to Vaccine Mandate Lewis County General Hospital is being forced to halt maternity services amid staff shortages following mass resignations due to New York's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers By Vanessa Etienne Vanessa Etienne Twitter Vanessa Etienne is an Emerging Content Writer-Reporter for PEOPLE. Prior to joining in April 2021, she served as a reporter for Men's Health Magazine and BET Digital after freelancing for publications such as The New York Times and Everyday Health. Originally from northern Virginia, Vanessa is a proud Haitian American with a love for R&B music and mental health topics. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's in Communication and Public Relations before earning her master's degree in Journalism from the City University of New York. People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 13, 2021 12:21 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Google Maps A New York hospital is being forced to "pause" delivering babies after experiencing mass staff resignations due to the recent COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to hospital administrators. On Friday, Lewis County Health System CEO Jerry Cayer announced during a press conference that the hospital has faced a number of staff resignations because of the state's vaccine mandate for healthcare workers, losing 30 employees. He said the facility's maternity unit alone has seen six staff members resign with seven other staff members refusing to get the vaccine — leading to the halt in maternity services. Lewis County Health System did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request to comment further. https://embed.hi-george.com/v3/viz/6111d8a1ff176fdfdc7b17a9" class="hg-data-interactive" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"> "We are unable to safely staff the service after Sept. 24," Cayer said. "The number of resignations received leaves us no choice but to pause delivering babies at Lewis County General Hospital." Joe Biden Offers Renewed Plea for Vaccinations: 'The Vaccine Saves Lives and It Could Save Yours' Last month, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all healthcare workers in the state were required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, providing a deadline to receive the first dose by Sept. 27. As of now, 165 employees of the hospital remain unvaccinated and Cayer told reporters that it's unclear if they plan to get the vaccine or not. He noted that of those unvaccinated, they have received three medical exemptions and were aware of 12 others who plan to seek medical exemption. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. The hospital is now working with the Department of Health in order to prevent a permanent closure of the maternity unit. "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 added during the conference. "We are not alone. There are thousands of positions that are open north of the Thruway and now we have a challenge to work through, you know, with the vaccination mandate."