Omicron cripples labor force of highly vaccinated New York City
By Mary Villareal // Jan 06, 2022

The omicron variant of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc in highly vaccinated New York City, crippling both the New York Police Department (NYPD) and New York Fire Department (NYFD). More than 80 percent of adults in the city are fully vaccinated.


Around 21 percent of the NYPD was out sick recently, which Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said was the highest level he'd ever seen. He noted that in March 2020, absences peaked at 19.8 percent. Meanwhile, around 18 percent of firefighters were out recently. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was the most affected with 30 percent of its personnel out sick on Dec. 27, followed by Sanitation Department with 25 percent of its workforce indisposed.

The New York City Transit was also impacted by the rising number of sick workers, with several subway lines suspended and others rerouted on Dec. 30.

City officials said they are weathering the storm, adding that they are stepping up to the challenge. Eric Adams, who was elected to take charge of the municipal workforce, said: "When you call for city services, we have not had to turn anyone down. The city is stepping up."

All firehouses remain open, and there are responses to all emergency calls. To stretch its workforce, the EMS is implementing mandatory overtime and has put a hundred emergency medical technicians (EMTs) from the academy on duty.

Wiley Norvell, a longtime top official during former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, said that the challenges they are facing are surmountable. He noted that New York City has big agencies that have personnel that can be redeployed to the front lines in times of crisis.

The NYPD did not provide exact figures, but it said that its sick rate has steadily declined since Dec. 31 as members recover from COVID-19.

However, an impact on city services remains inevitable, with sanitation officials grappling with COVID-related shortages at the same time they are preparing for snow. Despite contingency plans that include longer shifts, they've warned residents of delays in garbage pickup.

Thousands of NYC workers calling in sick

Between the NYPD, FDNY, transportation and emergency services, retailers, schools and other establishments, thousands of workers are calling in sick as the city continues to grapple with the coronavirus and mandatory quarantines. Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine noted that there's hardly a sector that hasn't been impacted.

The state already changed its isolation guidance two weeks ago in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and has allowed fully vaccinated workers to quarantine for only five days instead of 10, to avoid entire industries being wiped out as the omicron variant spreads across the country.

Levine noted that the regulations can be muddled, and the CDC should have specified the necessity of a test to exit isolation on Day 5. While the agency is suggesting it may recommend such measures, it is now causing "unnecessary confusion in the meantime."

City officials also confirmed that they are adhering to the state and the CDC's revised isolation guidelines. Despite this, COVID is leaving city departments and businesses short-staffed in a situation made worse by the fact that people need to wait in line for hours to get tested due to the surge in demand and a shortage of available tests. (Related: Vaccine mandates leading to massive shortage of 911 staff, putting Americans' lives in danger.)

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) won't say how many of its 70,000 employees in the transportation sector have been out sick due to omicron, but sources say that the figure is "very high," and may be at least several thousands.

The transit worker shortages have already forced the city to cut back on train services, including shutting down three lines. Bus routes have also suffered, with 56 scheduled bus runs on New Year's Eve getting canceled.

Watch the video below to learn more labor shortages in New York and elsewhere.

This video is from the InfoWars channel on

Go to for more updates about the omicron variant.

Sources include:

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