NEW YORK (AP). Mayor Bill de Blasio said nine out of ten New York City workers have received the COVID-19 vaccine since Monday’s deadline loomed in line with the city’s mandate.
De Blasio tweeted Saturday night that 91% of city workers received the vaccine, a jump from 83% as of Friday evening.
According to the city ordinance, those who have not received at least one dose of the vaccine will be sent on unpaid leave from Monday, raising the likelihood of a shortage of police, firefighters and ambulances. More than 300,000 employees work in New York.
The police department, which employs about 36,000 officers and 19,000 civil servants, reported 84% vaccinations as of Sunday morning, while about two in ten of the approximately 17,000 fire brigade employees remained unvaccinated as of Friday evening. The updated data from the fire department was expected later on Sunday.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro denied reports that some fire departments were closed due to shortages.
“The department has not closed any fire departments,” Nigro said in a statement on Sunday. “Irresponsible sick leave granted by some of our members poses a threat to New Yorkers and their fellow firefighters. They need to go back to work or risk the consequences of their actions. “
The City has considered various measures to deal with the expected staff shortage on Monday.
The fire department said it is ready to close up to 20% of its firefighting companies and reduce the number of ambulances in operation by 20%, as well as change schedules, cancel vacations and turn to third-party EMS providers to fill expected staff shortages.
De Blasio said the sanitary department will shift to a 12-hour shift, as opposed to the usual 8-hour shifts, and start working on Sundays to keep debris from piling up.