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Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Progress on Return to Office Plans for City Workers

April 23, 2021

Agencies invest over $206 million in rigorous health and safety measures

NEW YORK—As an additional 80,000 City workers prepare to begin to return to the office on Monday, May 3rd, Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the Mayoral Restart Taskforce has approved bespoke return to office plans for 65 mayoral offices and agencies in New York City. The Taskforce, which met with each agency or office individually, worked across government to ensure City workers return to a workplace that has been thoroughly and exhaustively prepared to welcome them back safely.

From June 2020 to March 2021, New York City spent over $206 million to prepare office buildings for workers’ return. Further resources will be allocated as needed to make necessary adjustments and keep workplaces safe.

“New York City will spare no effort to ensure our public servants return to workplaces that are fully equipped to keep them safe. With nearly 6 million vaccine doses already distributed, and individualized safety plans for every office, now is the perfect time to take the next step in building a recovery for all of us,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “City workers have served their fellow New Yorkers tirelessly throughout this pandemic, and I look forward to welcoming them back with open arms.”

"The health and well-being of City employees is our top priority in a return to office," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin. "Each approved agency plan has a strong foundation in the comprehensive guidance crafted by our City's workplace health and safety experts. These thorough plans will help ensure a recovery for all of us.

Approved plans are in alignment with extensive guidance developed by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Office of Labor Relations. The Taskforce required careful calculation of occupancy based on physical distancing and HVAC-related factors, as well as adherence to rigorous policies mandating face coverings, cleaning, and health screenings.

"Dedicated public servants have helped New York City throughout this pandemic, and they will be essential to our city's recovery," said Quintin Haynes, Executive Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. "In preparation for city agencies returning teleworking employees to the office, DCAS and the Mayoral Restart Taskforce offered comprehensive guidance to all city agencies to help safeguard employees and ensure a smooth transition."

“As we’ve learned, the precautions we take can make a tremendous difference,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Creating a workspace that enables staff to distance and remain masked is critical. I also urge every New Yorker – including municipal employees – to get vaccinated. It is the single greatest precaution we can take to protect ourselves and those we love.”

Mayor de Blasio also confirmed today that nearly 180,000 City workers have already received their first vaccination dose, and over 146,000 have been fully vaccinated. The City has set up vaccination sites in every borough specifically for City workers. Last week, the Mayor announced 99% of New Yorkers live within one mile of a vaccine site.

Ten different agencies have begun their own vaccination programs, and vaccine appointment booking services have been made available for City staff to book appointments for themselves and their families. The Vaccine Command Center is coordinating inter-agency efforts to book appointments for city employees at sites citywide, including 100 Church Street – a new site dedicated to City employees.

The City has also partnered with labor unions and the Office of Court Administration to provide dedicated vaccine programs.

Approximately 220,000 employees, the majority of the City's workforce, have been in the office or field throughout the pandemic. Those beginning to return on May 3rd have been teleworking. Approximately 43 percent of the City workforce will be in the office every day; the Mayor’s Office will operate at 50 percent of capacity.

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