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LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul announced plans on Thursday to reopen a Long Island hospital that temporarily closed earlier this week due to nursing staff shortages.

The staff shortages at Mount Sinai South Nassau were a result of New York’s vaccine mandate.

Officials said Monday that all other options were exhausted before the decision was made to close the ER that afternoon.

Instead, patients in need of emergency care were directed to the hospital’s main campus in Oceanside. It’s roughly five miles away and could take 25 minutes to get to in traffic. An ambulance has been stationed at the ER at all times for the duration of the closure.

Hochul said that the hospital will reopen the Long Beach Emergency Department on for 24/7 service at 7 a.m. Friday.

“As your Governor, I will ensure the state does everything we can to alleviate the stress on hospitals and emergency care facilities – so health care facilities, please continue to alert us when you are struggling,” Hochul said. “I want to thank Mount Sinai South Nassau and local community partners for working with us to restore ER services and continue providing high quality care to the residents of Nassau County. The Department of Health will keep working closely with hospital and local officials to monitor and troubleshoot any future potential staff shortage issues.”

Hospital officials previously said the closure was a result of compliance with state mandate that requires the suspension of all staff working under temporary religious exemptions who have not shown proof of at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a valid medical exemption.

More than 99% of Mount Sinai South Nassau’s staff is fully vaccinated, not counting those who sought religious or medical exemptions.

It’s the only emergency facility on Long Beach and serves roughly 10,000 people each year. It opened in 2015 after Superstorm Sandy essentially destroyed Long Beach Medical Center.

ALSO READ | Anonymous patron pays bills for everyone eating at Staten Island diner

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