By Andrea Grymes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Bill de Blasio says it’s another step forward in the road to recovery in New York.

He plans to start bringing thousands of city workers back to their offices in May.

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While some are thrilled with the news, others are concerned.

As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reports, it’s another part of Manhattan that used to be bustling, pre-pandemic. But workers like Michael Glynn say the area around City Hall is slowly starting to get back to normal.

COVID VACCINE

“Over the last couple weeks, you see more and more people coming. The traffic is obviously back and I think people are returning to their offices,” Glynn said.

Even more are set to return come May 3. De Blasio says that’s when he plans to start bringing some 80,000 City of New York office workers back to their offices, like at the David Dinkins Municipal Building. That includes people like IT workers and policy analysts who have been working remotely.

“It’s another important step on the way to the full recovery of New York City and I can feel that coming. You see more and more evidence every day,” de Blasio said.

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The mayor says:

  • COVID vaccines will not be required
  • But face masks will be, if workers cannot social distance
  • He promises better ventilation systems and other protocols
  • Staggered scheduling

For businesses near City Hall like food trucks, which are struggling without an influx of foot traffic, the news could not come soon enough.

“No business, no nothing. Big problem,” one food truck operator said.

Still, the city’s largest public employee union is worried.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“We think we need to increase the vaccination rate of city workers that are returning back to work. We need to provide them proper protective equipment. We need to make sure the facilities are clean,” said Henry Garrido, the executive director of District Council 37.

The mayor says they will work with employees who have concerns. City Hall says, at this point, there’s no estimated date for when these office workers will be back at the office full time.

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A recent survey in the private sector found 45% of office workers will return to Manhattan come September.

Andrea Grymes