- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling New York City employees back to the office.
- The majority of city operations have been conducted remotely due to the pandemic.
- Municipal office employees will be asked to return beginning May 3.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
New York City will require some 80,000 municipal workers who have been working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic back to the office on May 3.
The news was first reported Tuesday by The New York Times. City employees will be called back to their offices beginning the first week of May. The return will be staggered over the course of several weeks, according to internal documents described in the report.
The number is a fraction of the 300,000 workers employed by the city in total. Many employees, like sanitation workers and firefighters, have been unable to work from home during the pandemic. The workers called back include caseworkers, computer specialists, and clerical associates, according to the report.
The office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
The Times reported that vaccinations will not be required for employees returning to the office due to legal concerns. Face masks will not be required but strongly encouraged to be worn at all times, according to the report. One employee familiar with the rules told the Times employees could remove their facial coverings if they were more than six feet from another person.
The plan, as reported by the outlet, suggests growing confidence that new daily diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in New York City will continue to decline as more New Yorkers are immunized for the disease but also comes while the city has one of the highest rates of the disease across the US.
According to a Times analysis, the seven-day average of new cases in the city is more than 8,000, down from an all-time high of 16,000 cases per day earlier this year. About 104 COVID-19 deaths per day have been recorded in New York City over the past week, according to the analysis, down from a peak of 1,300 daily deaths in April 2020.
Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Monday warned of another “avoidable surge” of the virus resulting from the spreading of new variants of the disease, calling on Americans to “wear a well-fitting mask, socially distance, avoid crowds and travel, and be ready to roll up your sleeve to get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you.”
According to data released by the New York City Health department Tuesday, more than 937,000 people in New York City have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, receiving either both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine. More than 1.8 million people in New York City have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the data.
New York City was once the US epicenter of the pandemic when the disease first wreaked havoc on the country in March 2020. In total, more than 49,000 people in the state of New York have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Businesses, like movie theaters, in the city have slowly been allowed to resume more normal operations for the first time since many closed last year. Schools in the nation’s largest school system have also resumed some more operations, with middle schools reopening to students at the end of February.
President Joe Biden has said every American adult should have access to the vaccine by May 1.