More New Yorkers may be forced to get the COVID vaccine.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced new measures to combat the COVID-19 Delta variant in New Yorkers.

Speaking at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine, the Governor announced she will be working with localities, the state health department and the Public Health and Health Planning Council in the days ahead to put in place mandatory weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated public and charter school employees, and to establish a vaccination requirement for all staff at state-regulated facilities and congregate settings.

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"Last year every community across the state came together in a profound way to say, 'we can do this'," Hochul said. "This war is not over and the Delta variant is a serious threat, especially for people who are still unvaccinated. We all need to remain vigilant to protect each other - and that means coming in to get your shot and booster shot, wearing masks in indoor spaces, and exercising basic safety measures that we are all familiar with by now."

The governor also announced $65 million will be available to local health departments across the state to support the quick and reliable distribution of booster shots.

Local health departments will be supporting the distribution of booster shots in New York, enabling them to use their knowledge and workforce to quickly deliver booster shots to their communities. The governor is making $65 million available to local health departments to build the infrastructure for these efforts.

Getting children back to school where they can learn most effectively and protecting the students, teachers and staff are top priorities for Governor Hochul. Building on the state department of health's directive requiring universal masking for anyone entering schools, the governor will be working with localities, the department of health and the Public Health and Health Planning Council in the days ahead to implement a mandatory weekly COVID testing for school staff who are not vaccinated.

Following the department of health's announcement last week that all staff in health care facilities need to be vaccinated, the state is exploring how to expand this requirement to include staff at all state-regulated facilities, officials say.

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