Eric Adams Defends Choice to Keep NYC Schools Open Amid Omicron Surge

New York City reported nearly 30,000 new virus cases on Monday, and the number of people hospitalized has surpassed 5,000, according to state data. That level exceeds last winter’s peak, but is still below the hospitalization rate during first wave of the pandemic in 2020, when 12,000 people were hospitalized on the worst days.

There are long lines outside testing centers, as has been the case for weeks, and many private companies have said their employees should continue to work from home.

Some public officials have called for more aggressive measures to stop the spread of the virus, including Mark D. Levine, the new Manhattan borough president who has become a leading voice in amplifying the views of health experts.

Mr. Levine released a 16-point plan on Monday that called on the city to encourage New Yorkers to avoid large gatherings, to temporarily allow city employees to work from home and to require masks at all indoor settings for vaccinated and unvaccinated New Yorkers.

“We need to act now to slow this wave, protect our hospitals, and support the sick,” he said.

His plan has received support from leaders including Randi Weingarten, the head of the country’s most powerful teachers union, and Ron T. Kim, a state assemblyman from Queens.

In September, then-Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered city employees who had been working from home to return to offices. The city has more than 300,000 workers, and about 80,000 of those who work in offices and had been allowed to work remotely were required to return.

As coronavirus cases began to soar in December, the largest union representing city workers called on Mr. de Blasio to implement a remote policy for employees who are able to do their jobs from home. On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the union, District Council 37, said it would continue to push Mr. Adams for a remote policy.

Read More: Eric Adams Defends Choice to Keep NYC Schools Open Amid Omicron Surge

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