The staffing shortage due to the coronavirus pandemic is bad as it is, but it seems as though it's only getting worse.

The maternity department at the Lewis County Health System was already short-staffed pre-pandemic but is now in a more difficult situation. Their health care workers have decided to remain unvaccinated for COVID-19, causing them to quit their jobs with the hospital as the date of mandated vaccinations quickly approaches.

30 people have resigned from their health care roles since the vaccine was mandated on August 23, 20 who were in clinical positions like nurses, therapists, and technicians, totaling 70% of the resignations so far.

Get our free mobile app

According to the Watertown Daily Times, hospital Chief Executive Officer Gerald R. Cayer spoke at a news conference on Friday afternoon in the county board room, stating that 30 people have resigned from their health care roles since the vaccine was mandated on August 23, 20 of whom worked in clinical positions like nurses, therapists, and technicians, totaling 70% of the resignations so far.

“Essential health services are not at risk because of the mandate,” Cayer said at the top of his prepared statement. “The mandate ensures we will have a healthy workforce and we are not responsible for (causing COVID-19) transmission in or out of our facilities.”

The hospital begins the pause on their maternity services on September 24. Cayer says he hopes the State Department of Health will work with the hospital to not permanently close the department.

“Lewis County has the highest seven-day and 14-day positivity rates in the state of New York over the past three days,” said health system Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sean Harney.

All healthcare workers are required by state mandate to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by September 27. Harney says the hospital is working with current staff to "encourage vaccinations and foster transparency with the staff through outreach conversations."

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

What Is The Delta Plus COVID Variant?

As cases of COVID-19 surge across the United States due to the highly contagious delta variant, there is now a new version of that mutation called the delta plus. What is Delta Plus? Is it coming to New York soon?

15 Items in Short Supply Due to COVID-19

From gas, tires and bicycles to lumber, coffee and air conditioners, here's 15 items that will are in short supply.

Masked Kids Head Back to School in CNY For First Time Since COVID Hit

Back to school looks a little different amid COVID but at least kids and staff are finally going back.