What you should know
- The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak among some of its staff following a holiday party, the office confirms.
- It is unknown how many people were affected.
- The outbreak has caused staff shortages within the department, as those who tested positive must be quarantined, as well as others in the department.
It was not immediately clear how many people were affected, but the Daily News reported that an entire office had to be quarantined.
“Unfortunately, in the last few days, our family [de la Oficina del Fiscal del Distrito de Manhattan] has seen an increase in COVID cases among our staff members mainly due to attending an off-site party, “reads in part a letter sent to employees by office clerk Bonnie Sard.
According to the letter, some of the affected employees are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms to date.
The outbreak has caused staff shortages within the department, as those who tested positive must be quarantined, as well as others in the department.
“Those who have tested positive should be quarantined, and with great caution we have asked many members of the affected department to avoid entering the office for the time being,” according to Sard’s letter to employees.
The outbreak has also resulted in the District Attorney’s Office instructing the cancellation of all on-site parties, which also “strongly discourages” off-site office parties.
“The health and safety of our staff remains of the utmost importance, and it is with this in mind that we are instructing all offices, units, and departments to cancel any parties or social gatherings on site until the end of the year. Additionally, we are discouraging forcefully to all offices, units and departments to organize Christmas parties off-site, “reads Sard’s letter.
The outbreak comes amid a surge in COVID cases fueled by Ómicron that has seen weekly city-wide COVID averages soar 41% over the previous four-week averages and a delta-driven increase in hospitalizations. that is causing a new drastic action by the state.
The state’s rate of COVID cases per 100,000 residents has risen 58% since Thanksgiving, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday, representing a 43% increase in the last week alone. The hospitalization metric is even more jarring: That rate per 100,000 residents has risen 70% since Thanksgiving, Hochul said. On Friday, it was up 59%.
Total hospitalizations have surpassed 3,700 for the first time since April 20 and have risen 92% in the last month alone.
New York is not alone in experiencing what Hochul described as a total spike in the festivities. Several states, California among the most recent, have reimposed mask or vaccination mandates (or both) in hopes of stemming the tide of winter COVID.