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LONG BEACH, New York (LifeSiteNews) — A New York emergency room will be closed for at least a month due to the state’s vaccine mandate.

The Long Beach Emergency Department, operated by Mt. Sinai South Nassau hospital system, fired about 72 employees who had religious exemptions from the jab mandate. The state officially ended all religious exemptions for healthcare workers on Monday.

“Some of these six dozen employees are ER nurses who the hospital said are not easily replaced due to training and other factors,” NBC New York reported. “The emergency department, which sees about 10,000 visitors annually, will be closed for at least a month.”

The president of Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital system said closing an emergency room is in the interest of the safety of the community because some of the staff, totaling one percent, are not vaccinated. “We regret having to take this step but the safety of our patients is always our No. 1 priority,” Dr. Adhi Sharma said.

“This will allow us to shift nursing staff to the Oceanside campus to ensure that we maintain adequate staffing at the Emergency Department at our main campus,” Sharma said.

Long Beach Emergency Department is the only emergency room in that city.

“The staffing shortage and closure of the LBED is a result of the Hospital’s compliance with the NYSDOH’s mandate issued Thursday, November 18, 2021, requiring the suspension of all staff working under temporary religious exemptions who could not show proof today of receiving a first dose of COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption from receiving it,” the hospital system wrote in a statement on its website.

“More than 99 percent of Mount Sinai South Nassau’s staff are fully vaccinated, not counting those who sought religious or medical exemptions,” the hospital system said. “Mount Sinai South Nassau is actively recruiting experienced and qualified staff who can document either a first dose COVID-19 vaccination or a valid medical exemption so that it can resume full operations of the Long Beach Emergency Department on or about December 15, 2021.”

“This closure could last up to a month,” the City of Long Beach wrote on its Facebook page. “This is completely unacceptable, especially as we move into the holiday season. The administration is working with all parties to come up with a solution that results in the Emergency Room remaining open.”

The state’s removal of the vaccine exemption for people with religious objections to the abortion-tainted jabs did not come in the form of a law passed by the state or a regulation promulgated through the normal procedures.

Instead, it came in the form of a letter interpreting the Department of Health’s (DOH) own order requiring inoculation.

A “Dear Administrator” note to health care executives on November 15 said that all “covered entities,” including hospitals and nursing homes, had to ensure all employees with a religious exemption had been jabbed or been approved for a “valid medical exemption.”

“We’re not constitutionally required to provide a religious exemption,” DOH attorney Vanessa Murphy previously said.

The Thomas More Society has asked the Supreme Court to block enforcement of the state’s vaccine mandate if it does not include religious exemptions. The conservative legal nonprofit argues that it violates federal law to not allow for any religious exemptions.