New York City workers must wear masks in their offices if they are not vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at his press conference on Monday.
“This is about our recovery, this is about what we need to do to bring back New York City and keeping people safe,” de Blasio said. “This is about making sure our families get through Covid safely. This is about bringing back jobs, you name it.”
The city employees will have to show proof of their vaccinations or be tested every single week, the mayor warned.
“Only with documented proof of vaccination does one have the option to forgo a face covering,” de Blasio said. “If someone is not wearing their mask, they will be removed from the workplace.”
New York City is seeing an uptick in positive coronavirus cases but not hospitalizations; with 71% of adults vaccinated with at least one shot, it appears to affirm that the delta variant can infect vaccinated people, but the vaccine will protect them from developing a serious infection.
“Don’t wait-the virus is here now, and it’s transmitting quickly,” warned Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. He said the delta variant, “a particularly aggressive strain” was rapidly spreading among unvaccinated people, who make up the majority of severe cases.
All Department of Health and clinical staff will be mandated to either be vaccinated or masked starting August 2, and 45,000 city employees in congregate or residential settings such as shelters or senior centers will be required starting August 16. The entire city workforce, including school staff, the NYPD and the FDNY will be under the mandate by September 13.
“September is the pivot point of the recovery,” de Blasio continued. “September is when many employers are bringing back a lot of their employees, September is when school starts full strength, September is when people come back from the summer.”
The mayor urged private companies to mandate vaccines for their employees.
“My message to the private sector is: Go as far as you can go right now,” he said. “I would strongly urge a vaccination mandate whenever possible, or as close to it as possible.”
Nearly a quarter of a million 12-17 year olds have at least one shot. The city has distributed 9.8 million vaccine doses.
Updated Monday, July 26, 2021 at 11:33 am .
Updated Monday, July 26, 2021 at 12:53 pm .
Updated Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at 11:31 am .