A major question he will face is how to handle the reopening of schools in January. Teachers and school staff need to be vaccinated, and Mr de Blasio said he was also considering requiring a booster. But Mr de Blasio insisted he did not want to impose a vaccination mandate on students, as Los Angeles has done, because it may prompt some parents to keep their children at home.
Brad Lander, who will take office as city comptroller on January 1, urged Mr. Adams and Mr. de Blasio to create a plan for all students and staff – which would mean nearly one million students, 75,000 teachers and thousands of other staff – to be tested over the weekend before school resumes.
Mr Lander, Mr Adams and Jumaane Williams, the city’s public attorney who recently tested positive for the virus, issued a joint statement on Tuesday announcing that they were postponing the dedication ceremony and urging New Yorkers to be boosted.
“We encourage all New Yorkers to get vaccinated, boosted and tested,” the statement read. “This is our way out of this pandemic, and we will get out of it together. “
(Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, revealed on Tuesday that she had also tested positive; she said she had been vaccinated and had mild symptoms.)
With the vacation plans of many New Yorkers under threat and the increase in cases, the time taken to get test results has also increased in some places. Letitia James, New York State Attorney General, sent a warning letter to LabQ Diagnostics, a Brooklyn-based lab with dozens of mobile locations across New York City, regarding false advertising that results are available within 48 hours.
A new vaccination mandate for all private employers in New York City takes effect on December 27. But some companies have already closed due to outbreaks or have asked employees to work remotely. Citigroup has given its staff in New York and New Jersey the ability to work remotely, and CNN has closed its U.S. offices to all employees who can work remotely.