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It was a gathering of hundreds Friday in Oneonta, NY with a march of those who are against Governor Hochul's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for healthcare workers according to AllOTSEGO. They marched down Oneonta's Main Street, ending at A.O. Fox Hospital. A rally at Damaschke Field in Neahwa Park preceded the march.

NY Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, joined in the march and rally. He has made his opinion about vaccinations clear from the beginning of the pandemic and maintains that no one should be forced to get it. In a statement to AllOTSEGO, Salka said, “I’m here to support the medical professionals and support their right to not have an injection they’re not confident in". Salka also spoke to the crowd at the rally, criticizing Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Bassett Healthcare, from the state mandate, has told its employees that the deadline for healthcare workers to receive their first dose of the vaccine is coming up on September 27th.

The protest signs seen at the rally and march included: “stop the mandate”,  “unmask our children”, and “protect our liberties". The rally speeches echoed those sentiments, demonstrating a distaste for masks and mistrust of vaccine information that is available.

There is another planned vaccine mandate protest planned in Cooperstown tomorrow.

Meanwhile, COVID cases continue to rise in Chenango, Delaware and Otsego Counties. As of 9/19, Otsego County Department of Health is reporting 137 active cases known with 7 hospitalizations. The Chenango County Dept. of Health last reported on 9/17 and at that time, there were 106 cases with 4 hospitalizations, and Delaware County Public Health reported on 9/17 that there were 209 cases and 5 people hospitalized with complications from the virus.