NEW YORK — The rise in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant has caused staffing shortages across multiple city agencies.
The NYPD Tuesday night announced they will be cancelling regularly scheduled days off for uniformed members on both Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1.
"In order to provide police coverage for New Year's celebrations in Times Square and for precincts throughout the city, the NYPD has ordered all uniformed members of the service who would regularly be off to report for duty,” the NYPD said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Fire Department reported roughly 19% of the city's more than 4,000 EMS workers were out sick on Saturday.
Employees in some cases work up to 18 hour shifts. Personal leave is also on hold so as to keep response times down, officials say.
The MTA said this week trains will run less frequently than usual due to the COVID-19 surge within the ranks of the MTA.
Erica Allen, a regular rider of public transit, said she relies on the subway to commute to work, run errands, and meet up with friends and family. She says she fears staffing shortages at the MTA with prolong her commutes.
"I am already very impatient, so to have to wait for a city that is supposed to have transportation going on consistently and then have to wait thirty minutes, an hour, anything — that’s ridiculous," Allen said. "It would definitely concern me. You know, of course we want them to be safe, but to also have enough employees to get everybody to their destination.”
Another commuter, Kathleen Mandeville, told NY1 she has not had any issues commuting during the holidays.
"My experience most recently has been, the subway is timely and efficient," Mandeville said
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its quarantine guidance Monday, reducing quarantines from 10 days to five days for people who test positive and who are asymptomatic. It remains to be seen how this update will impact the city's workforce.