Omicron wreaks havoc on NYC with crippling staff shortages


Omicron is shaking the Big Apple to its core thanks to crippling staffing shortages caused by the raging COVID-19 variant.

Between vital transportation and emergency services, retailers and schools, workers are calling in sick by the thousands while grappling with the coronavirus and mandatory quarantines.

“There’s hardly a sector that’s not impacted,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine told The Post on Monday. 

“The impact is real.”

EMERGENCY SERVICES

As the Big Apple continues to battle its latest surge of COVID-19 cases, the NYPD had 14 percent – or nearly 5,000 of the force’s 35,000 uniformed officers – out sick Monday.

Almost 2,000 cops had COVID, while the other 3,000 were experiencing flu-like symptoms, a source told The Post.

NYC residents pushing to get through door
“There’s hardly a sector that’s not impacted,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine told The Post on Monday.
Getty Images

Meanwhile, the FDNY said 30 percent of its 4,200 EMS staff and 18 percent of its 11,000 firefighters were sick.

The state changed its isolation guidance two weeks ago — in accordance with the CDC — to allow fully vaccinated workers to quarantine for just five days instead of 10, in a bid to avoid entire industries being wiped out as the Omicron variant raged.

But even the regulations can be muddled, Levine said.

“The CDC should have specified that you needed a test to exit isolation in Day 5,” the beep said.

He noted that the agency is now suggesting it may soon recommend that, causing “unnecessary confusion in the meantime.”

Man getting tested
People must wait in line for hours in some parts to get tested because of demand and a shortage of tests.
Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

City officials confirmed Monday they are adhering to the state and CDC revised isolation guidelines.

Even so, COVID-19 is leaving city departments and scores of businesses short-staffed, a bad situation worsened by the fact that people must wait in line for hours in some parts to get tested because of demand and a shortage of tests.

TRANSPORTATION

The MTA won’t say how many of its 70,000 employees have been sidelined because of Omicron, but sources said Monday that the figure is “very high” – estimated to be at least several thousand.

The transit worker shortages have already forced a cut back to train services, including shutting down three lines – the B, W and Z – through Monday. Other train and bus routes also have suffered, including the cancelation of 56 scheduled bus runs on New Year’s Eve.

By Monday afternoon, 118 flights out of LaGuardia Airport had already been canceled, according to the Flight Aware tracking site. John F. Kennedy International Airport saw 43 of its scheduled flights axed – part of a nationwide trend amid Omicron cases and wintry weather conditions.

More than 100 travelers – many of them tourists trying to return home after visiting New York City for the holidays — were forced to stand outside in freezing temperatures Monday as they waited for COVID tests at LaGuardia’s Terminal B, with some missing their connecting flights for international…



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