New York’s healthcare workers are soon going to be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, a first for a U.S. state as the nation grapples with a climb in new cases.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Friday the mandate at a press conference where she provided more details on how Albany will tackle the COVID-19 situation in the state. Unlike previous requirements from the state, Hochul said that these mandates will have no test-out option for healthcare workers, but will still provide for medical exceptions for eligible workers.

“You would want to make sure that anyone taking care of you is fully protected," Hochul said during a briefing in her Manhattan office.

Hochul also announced new restrictions on visitors to New York's nursing homes. Visitors will be required to wear a mask and submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of the visit to protect residents as well as reduce spread in what the governor called a "point of vulnerability for us."

When COVID-19 first struck New York in 2020, it quickly became the poster child for how seriously the virus could ravage one of America’s largest cities. Beyond the emptied-out streets of Manhattan, the surge in COVID-19 cases in New York nursing homes grew into one of the darkest symbols for the state during that period.

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration downplayed the number of deaths in nursing homes, prompting an investigation by the state’s Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found that the state had undercounted the number of nursing home deaths by as much as 50% and it was later learned that Cuomo aides obscured the death toll out of fear of criticism by former President Donald Trump.

Cuomo resigned last August following an investigation by the state attorney general that found he had sexually harassed multiple women. In one of her first acts upon assuming the governorship, Hochul disclosed an additional 12,000 COVID-19 deaths at state-run nursing homes in a sharp break from Cuomo, whom she served as lieutenant governor.

Hochul’s order comes at a time when New York is facing a mounting number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. According to The New York Times’ COVID data tracker, the hospitalization rate in New York has gone up by 118% in the last two weeks while total cases are up 191% with a daily average of 69,956 cases as of Jan. 6.

The number of residents who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 shot is 84.8% and the percentage of those who are fully vaccinated stands at 72.1%, according to the state's data.