Mayor Adams proposes 3-day workweek to get people back in New York City offices

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Eric Adams proposed easing workers back into businesses with a three-day workweek and then expanding to five days in New York City.

"I say let's start out with a three-day week, to let people see how safe it is to come back to work, then we cycle back into a five-day week," he said. "We can do this within a three-week period and be up and operating in our city."

Adams reiterated his believe that workers need to be in the office to preserve the rest of the economy.

"Yes, yes, yes, it's time to get back to work," he said. "COVID is here. We have to learn to live with it in a smart way. 30% office occupancy is a real challenge for us."

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His comments came a day after he announced extra funding for city hospitals, as the number of patients with COVID-19 continue to grow. More than 10,000 are hospitalized across New York state, the highest since May of 2020, though ICU numbers and deaths remain lower than at the peak of the pandemic.

New York City is averaging 30,000 new cases a day, and Adams promised more help to public hospitals with millions in funding as part of a three-point plan.

First, the New York City COVID-19 Hospital Loan Fund will make $33 million in loans available to the City's safety-net hospitals, those hospitals outside of the New York City Health and Hospitals network.

The funds were made possible through a public-private partnership with Goldman Sachs.

Second, $111 million is being directed to support the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation which operates New York City's public hospitals and clinics.

Adams said part of the money would be coming from FEMA from money that had been returned by other states.

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"When I was in Washington, DC several weeks ago I learned that a large sum of resources are being returned to the federal government from various states because they're not drawing down the money fast enough. We are not going to allow that to happen," Adams said. "We're going to make sure that we use those dollars. We're sending nothing back to Washington, DC."

Adams said much of the money would go towards ensuring that hospitals are properly staffed.

Finally, Adams said his administration would focus on expanding staffing and support at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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