Duties and functions

Many Boston city workers will drop by as omicron rages on

Many of the 18,000 city of Boston employees will switch to remote work for two weeks amid an increase in coronavirus cases as the omicron variant rages on, Mayor Michelle Wu said.

“With COVID-19 cases peaking in Boston and across the Commonwealth, we are taking these temporary measures to reduce the risk of transmission and protect our workforce and our communities,” Wu said in a statement Sunday. “Our priority is to keep the schools and city services open on which our citizens rely on a daily basis. I thank all of our municipal employees for their unwavering efforts to serve the public throughout the pandemic. “

In an email to city workers over the weekend, Wu asked all employees who can perform their tasks remotely to return to work from home from Tuesday, January 4 to January 18. A stricter vaccine mandate for all city employees will go into effect on January 15. when employees will need to show proof of at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. All city employees must be fully immunized by February 15.

“The City is temporarily reducing the number of employees in City buildings to ensure it can protect the health of its workforce and the public we serve. To do this, the City will order certain City employees, who can perform all of their essential work functions remotely, to start working from home and continue to do so until Tuesday, January 18, 2022 ”, he added. she stated in the email.

It is not known exactly how many workers will be affected by Wu’s directive. Managers have been instructed to meet with staff on Monday and develop plans.

Other employees may be required to work from home on a rotational basis in order to limit the number of employees required in buildings at any given time. All employees must remain available to report to city workspaces if notified, Wu told workers.

Wu said she based her decision on “the advice of public health officials” after an “unprecedented” increase in COVID-19 cases in Boston “led by the Omicron variant and increased transmission during the holidays. “drove the seven-day test positive rate to 18.2% last Monday, down from 9.5% the week before.