New York’s COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has now been expanded to include hotel workers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
It will be up to local health departments to determine how, where and when to schedule the workers’ appointments, Cuomo added.
“Hotels in many parts of the state serve as regular quarantine areas for COVID-positive persons to isolate from their families,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
“In turn, the staff at these facilities are being exposed to COVID regularly. Given the overall increase to the State’s [vaccine] supply and the essential health care service that these hotel workers provide, the Governor is granting localities the flexibility to add hotel workers to the 1B vaccine prioritization group,” the statement said.
The move comes after the hotel industry urged Cuomo to designate its staffers as crucial front-line workers so they can be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
More than 400 members of the Hotel Trades Council labor union died after getting infected with COVID-19, and union sources claim many employees contracted the killer virus on the job.
The Hotel Trades Council on Friday cheered the vaccine eligibility expansion.
“Governor Cuomo’s order regarding hotel workers is a crucial development for our members and for hospitality workers across the state who have been regularly exposed to COVID-positive and quarantining individuals,” the union said in a statement.
“This order will protect countless lives and promote the critical role that hotels continue to play during this pandemic.”
Alexis Santiago, a housekeeping worker at the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square hotel, told The Post that he was “relieved” by the news.
“My coworkers and I in housekeeping do our best to stay safe, but given the nature of our work, we are exposed,” said Santiago, explaining that the hotel has been housing COVID-19 positive New Yorkers.
“I myself caught COVID-19 last spring, and I am so relieved that my coworkers and I will be better protected now,” he said.