NY Gov. Kathy Hochul

Bracing for the new omicron variant of COVID-19 to make its way across the border from Canada, the governor of New York is stepping up efforts to get booster shots into the arms of long-term care residents.

“We’ve got to do everything we can to protect vulnerable New Yorkers. That means making sure everyone is able to get a booster,” Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said on social media Sunday. “All nursing homes and adult care facilities will now be required to make booster doses available to all of their residents.”

Nearby Ontario already has seen cases of omicron. “It’s not a question of if it comes to New York, but when,” she added Monday.

Earlier this month, the governor said she was, “strongly encouraging all New Yorkers who live or work in a high-risk setting to get the booster.” Noting that she received a booster dose, she said she believes that “no one who feels they are at risk should be turned away from getting a COVID-19 booster shot. If you feel at risk, please get the booster.”

LeadingAge New York President and CEO James W. Clyne Jr. told McKnight’s that, based on what he’s hearing, he doesn’t foresee any difficulty with members adhering to the state’s requirement.

“As long as the state is reasonable on survey and enforcement, this directive shouldn’t be a problem,” he said. Many members started the booster process as soon as the federal government approved boosters for older adults, healthcare workers and some others in September, he added.