80,000 NYC workers head back to the office

Some 80,000 members of the metropolis’s municipal workforce returned to their workplaces Monday for the first time since the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic final 12 months.

“I woke up pretty early just to put makeup on for the first time in a year and a half,” mentioned Brittany Wolfe, 24, who works for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had announced the return date back in March, as the Big Apple reopens from the coronavirus pandemic.

Like most of the municipal staff returning for in-person work, Wolfe, a Westchester resident, will likely be on a staggered schedule, working each in the office and remotely for the time being.

“I’ve been really cautious for the last year and a half and I’m optimistic that my office and my co-workers will kind of be doing the same,” mentioned Wolfe, noting that she’s each “excited and nervous.”

Commuters emerge from the City Hall subway station.
Workers journey the subway, some for the first time in a 12 months, as the metropolis welcomes municipal staff back to the office.
Stephen Yang

Wolfe, who rode the subway for the time Monday since the starting of the well being disaster, mentioned that for the month of May, she is going to work in the office in the future per week after which twice per week in June.

Gillian Coutain, 57, a staffer at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, mentioned she was “a little bit” involved going back into the office “because we’re in a closed space.”

“That is my major concern,” she defined. “They said the vent system is clean, but I don’t know. There’s no way to prove that. I just pray and I take them for their word.”

The entrance to 1 Centre St. as city workers come back after covid shut downs.
More than 180,000 metropolis workers have gotten a minimum of one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Stephen Yang

Strict coronavirus security protocols have been put in place for the return of the metropolis’s workforce, which incorporates carrying face masks, social distancing and well being screenings, officers mentioned.

“I have no worries at all because our office is not going to be overcrowded. They put safety measures in place,” mentioned Leslie Rodriguez, an worker for the Department of Buildings.

Rodriguez added, “I’m happy to be out. It’s a bit uncomfortable working from home. It’s a bit cramped and I really don’t have the work space.”

Though there is no such thing as a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the metropolis is strongly encouraging its staff to get the shot.

Brittany Wolfe works at the Manhattan DA’s office.
Brittany Wolfe mentioned she “put makeup on for the first time in a year and a half” for her first day back at the office.
Stephen Yang

De Blasio known as Monday “one of those turning point moments.”

“City Hall is abuzz today. It’s a great feeling,” de Blasio mentioned throughout his press briefing. “For the first time in a year-plus, we really have the spirit and the energy of this place back and it’s a great feeling.”

But Henry Garrido, government director of District Council 37, the municipal workers union, criticized the timing and method of bringing metropolis workers back to the office.

Henry Garrido, executive director of the DC-37 union.
Henry Garrido expressed issues that not sufficient of New York City’s workforce has been vaccinated to return to in-person working.
Ron Adar / M10s / MEGA

“Progress has been made, but we’re not there yet. For starters, we are only aware of 34 percent of our workforce being vaccinated. The city should focus on bringing that number up before bringing everyone back to work gradually,” Garrido mentioned in a press release.

“Second, the inconsistency across the agencies tells you everything you need to know. Some agencies are bringing everyone back every day, others once a week. It does not make sense and makes clear everyone is guessing. We need to figure out the safest approach and apply it evenly across city government.” 

De Blasio responded to Garrido’s feedback throughout his briefing, saying, “There is a single unified approach right here. It is consistent.”

“I’m quite satisfied,” mentioned de Blasio. “It’s been a careful, consultative approach and it’s working.”

Leslie Rodriguez works at DOB, by City Hall Park.
“I’m happy to be out. It’s a bit uncomfortable working from home,” Leslie Rodriguez mentioned about the return to in-person working.
Stephen Yang

In whole, there are 325,378 full- and part-time municipal workers in the Big Apple and about 80 % of the metropolis’s workforce has already been on the job in in-person roles due to the front-line nature of their work.

More than 180,000 metropolis workers who’ve acquired a minimum of one dose of coronavirus vaccine, in accordance to de Blasio.

“I think we’re on a pretty strong pace there,” he mentioned.

Overall, the metropolis has administered greater than 6.6 million vaccine pictures to date with greater than 2.6 million Gotham residents absolutely vaccinated.

Gillian Coutain, who works at DCAS.
Gillian Coutain mentioned her main security concern about returning to the office is the cleanliness of the air vents.
Stephen Yang

The Big Apple’s COVID-19 indicators are additionally persevering with to pattern downward as extra folks get inoculated.

According to the newest information, the metropolis had a 2.78 % an infection charge on a seven-day rolling common as of Saturday — “a great number,” de Blasio mentioned.

Ninety-five folks have been admitted to metropolis hospitals with suspected COVID-19 on Saturday and 40 % of them examined optimistic for the bug, the information reveals.

The metropolis’s seven-day rolling common of recent virus instances was at 1,202, in accordance to the information.

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