NYC mayor explains vaccine mandate impacting private businesses
NYC mayor explains vaccine mandate impacting private businesses
towns here in New york city. We've got to keep moving forward. And the answer as always, is to use the things that work. Vaccination works and vaccine mandates work. That's the bottom line. So look, we're working closely with the state government, with the federal government. We're all united common front to fight Covid. And that cooperation is tremendously important. But we also know omicron is here no debate about it anymore. It doesn't matter if we're only getting a few cases in different states. We know it's here, we know it's going to spread. It appears to be at this moment very transmissible. We're waiting for more facts and more evidence. But that's what we're seeing so far. What does that mean? You can expect And I'm sorry to say this. You can expect community spread. We have to assume it's going to be widespread. We have to assume it's going to give us a real challenge. We've been to this movie before. We've been down this road before. We know what happens when we get a new variant and particularly one that's highly transmissible. Uh, it's not something we can't handle. We have the tools but we have to use those tools aggressively and we have to move quickly. That's why I described the actions we're taking today as a preemptive strike. Get ahead of this problem before it deepens and use the thing that works vaccination. We can talk about all the other tools and we will. But vaccination is the central weapon in this war against Covid. It's the one thing that has worked every single time across the board on a strategic level. It's the reason new york city is back in so many ways and that's the reason we can avoid Shutdowns and restrictions. It's more use of vaccinations. So that's why we are taking aggressive action today. We're not going back to what happened in 2020. We cannot allow that to happen. We're not gonna allow to happen in new york city. What's happening in Germany right now? We cannot let that happen. So look, bottom line, I've said, we have been climbing the ladder as we have climbed the ladder. Good things have happened. More and more people have gotten vaccinated. The city got safer. We're able to bring back people's livelihoods and jobs and the life of the city. We need to keep that going. So today we're gonna be announcing uh some additional measures to keep new Yorkers safe. And I'm going to remind everyone job number one, any mayor keep people safe. This is the biggest crisis, Not only of our time of the history of new york city, we cannot let covid back in the door again. So, these measures today will make a big difference. First of all, with a key to n Y. C extremely effective program that's been respected and emulated around the country needs to be more honestly, it's something that should be used in more and more places. Well right now we require all employees and patrons, everyone 12 and up to be vaccinated at least one dose that's indoor dining, fitness, entertainment that's worked brilliantly. It's been a tremendous success or a lot of concern about the beginning. In fact it has been across the board success with very few problems, you know, there's been a few challenges, but not many. So we now are going to deepen that effort by requiring all employees and patrons uh to have from 12 years old and up uh two doses and that will take effect on december 27th because the idea is everyone by that point, who has gotten their first dose? If you've got your first dose by now, you're going to be able to get your second dose by then we've got to up the ante here. We want to also encourage folks to get that second dose, vast majority of new Yorkers do. And that's good news. But we've got to encourage people even more, Get that second dose because that's what gives you so much more protection. So two doses for all the key to NyC businesses starting december 27th employees and customers and that's going to keep people safe and we want to see people go out, get those second doses right now, if they qualify, remember with the holidays with the cold weather, you haven't gotten your second dose and you qualify. This is exactly the time to get it. You should feel urgency because the challenge of covid is about to get greater. Now, another point on key to NYC thinking the youngest new Yorkers, the vaccination for the 5 to 11 year olds, it's just begun. The last few weeks already, we've gotten over 127,000 new york city kids in that age range vaccinated. That's great. It's a little over 19% of all the kids in that group considering his brand new. That's good and it's better than the national rate but it's not enough. Obviously we need to see a lot more. We need to see kids getting vaccinated in that age group parents, we need you to step up for the good of your Children, your family, all of us go get your child vaccinated so we're going to include them. And the key to NYC, the guidelines are key to NYC Starting on December 14. So this is again one dose now because it's a new vaccination. Um that gives parents playing time. We've been having vaccination drives in schools were in the middle of our second round in every single elementary school in New York City, every school with 5 to 11 year olds, this will be the second time around started last week, continuing this week. If you're a parent you want to get your kid vaccinated, it's so simple, you could be at your own school or it could be in many, many locations nearby your home. This is something that's going to keep kids safe and family safe, go get your child vaccinated so long as they've gotten that first dose by December 14, they can continue to participate. Indoor dining, entertainment. All these great things. Now, another point for our youngest kids previously, for the kids 12 years old and up the rule has been in place for high risk extracurricular activities, sports band, chorus, orchestra, dance things where there's a lot of close contact things where kids are singing or anything where they're really letting a lot of error out that could have an impact on everyone around them. That has applied to kids 12 and up, We're going to now apply that to kids in the 5-11 year old range as well. That's also December 14. Again, only one dose required. There's time for parents get that done. Uh, most kids don't necessarily participate in those activities. That's fine. But for those who do, we want to make sure they have that protection. It's real important. Okay, now another really big important step and this is going to be a first in the nation step. You're going to hear from our health commissioner at the moment and he will be issuing a commissioner's order for all private sector employers in new york city. Um, it is time, look, this is how we put health and safety first by ensuring that there is a vaccine mandate that reaches everyone universally in the private sector. A lot of folks in the private sector said to me, they believe in vaccination, but they're not quite sure how they can do it themselves well, we're going to do it, We're going to do this so that every employer is on level playing field. One universal standard. Starting December 27, we're gonna be working with businesses all over the city and that's almost 200,000 businesses that are not already covered by the key to N. Y. C guidelines. Right now, We're gonna be working with the business community, we're gonna be talking to them in the next days on how to put together the right plan to implement this. The specific guidance specific rules will come out in December 15th. We want to have a collaborative process, we want to make this work. And let's be clear, we have a great example with the key to N. Y. C, all those restaurants, all those fitness clubs, all those entertainment facilities, movie theaters, all sorts of places they've been working with us, they gave us good advice up front, we came up with rules that work. The vast, vast majority of implementing those rules really effectively. And I constantly hear from people that they know if they go into a place under key NYC they're safe and they feel comfortable, they're going to enjoy themselves, They feel comfortable in those settings because they know everyone's vaccinated and there was a lot of concern upfront, wouldn't work. Would it be difficult, you know what businesses have adapted and handled it really, really well and we know that will happen again. We're gonna set up a call center to handle concerns from businesses will have a strong outreach effort as we've done previously to answer questions provide the support they need. This is going to make a huge difference to make sure new Yorkers are safe going forward. I want you to hear from the person who will be issuing the order. In the course of the day. Our health commissioner dr Dave choksi, thank you so much. Mr Mayor. When we were thinking through these major new policies announced today, we had a few groups of new Yorkers in mind. I thought about my patients, so many of them essential workers who have been at risk throughout the pandemic and who are at greater risk when they are in close quarters with unvaccinated colleagues. I thought about our nurses and other health care workers, the trauma they've experienced and the post traumatic stress they feel right now with cases increasing again and a micron on the horizon. I thought about the patients, those same healthcare workers look after, especially the unvaccinated patients, expressing regret for their decision in terrifying moments of remorse, like just before they have to be placed on a breathing tube and I thought about how we can better protect people who remain vulnerable despite widespread access to vaccination, like Children who are still too young to get the vaccine and new Yorkers with weakened immune systems such as those with cancer on chemotherapy for all of those groups, Risk rises as community transmission increases even before a micron becomes more common. We've seen case numbers grow in recent weeks due to Delta, the devil. We know they have more than doubled since a recent low point in early november increasing in every borough and every age group. That's why the bold steps the mayor announced today are necessary and vital. Starting with the private sector vaccine mandate, vaccines work and vaccine mandates work particularly when joined with efforts to build vaccine confidence, provide incentives and improve access as we have in new york city. We've seen this with our health care workers, school staff and public employees. Now it's time for the private sector to step up and follow suit Turning to our younger New Yorkers. Case rates are currently highest among our 5-11 year olds, but we can change this and indeed parents have already vaccinated over 130,000 kids since 5 to 11 year olds became eligible, extending the key to NYC to those five and up and expanding our vaccine requirement for high risk extracurricular activities to that same age range will help further. These are proven tools in our fight against COVID-19 and a logical step to protect our kids. New York City has led the nation when it comes to decisive action on COVID-19. We have to be even more relentless than the virus and I'm so proud of all the ways new Yorkers have shown our characteristic toughness, particularly when it's most needed. For instance, in the last two days over 108,000 vaccinations were reported as administered including about 63,000 booster doses. Those boosters may turn out to be particularly important for omicron. So you'll see us work to further increase the almost 1.2 million additional or booster doses already administered in N. Y. C. And beyond vaccination. I'm grateful to everyone for their commitment to common sense precautions, particularly masking, testing, improving ventilation and staying home when you're ill. My Commissioner's advisory on masking from last week emphasized mask use indoors including for those who are vaccinated and also called attention into higher quality masks like KN 90 five's and KF 90 four's for those at higher risk. Mr Mayor, thank you for the swift and resolute leadership demonstrated by today's announcements. I know it will save lives and help us prevent unnecessary suffering. Thank you. Thank you so much. Dr choksi thank you for everything you're doing and your colleagues to keep us safe and for this order you're issuing today, it's going to make a huge huge difference. I want to hear from someone now, one of the great national voices during this crisis. Uh we've all been trying to navigate an extremely complex reality and it's so powerful and there are people who are those voices of wisdom and knowledge and help us make sense of covid. He is an oncologist. He is a former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and vice provost for global initiatives at the University of pennsylvania. My pleasure to introduce dr Zeke Emanuel. It's my pleasure to be here. Mr Mayor. Um, everyone out there, Delta, I'm a crane. They represent a real threat. We've been making progress. Unfortunately, gatherings and people coming together and the spread of a more transmissible agent has increased cases. Again, it's a real threat even if it's not that severe, not necessarily to us, but as has been said to immunocompromised people to older individuals in our community, to kids under five who can't get vaccinated. We're all have to protect each other. This isn't just an individual effort, it's a collective effort to that effect. The most important thing that has to be done going forward is getting the unvaccinated vaccinated. That is the vast reservoir in which uh the virus spreads rapidly. It's also the situation that leads to increase in hospitalization and frankly burnout among hospital staff who are frustrated about caring for people who could have been vaccinated, frustrated by the fact that they can't give the best medical services because they're overwhelmed. Getting the unvaccinated vaccinated is critical to getting our control. We know that that will not happen voluntarily. It would be wonderful if everyone voluntarily stood up and said yes, I'll get vaccinated. I'll get two shots and then the third shot. But that's just not going to happen. It never does on a voluntary basis for all americans. That's where our mandates come in. We know that no one likes to be required to do something. We all like to be given our choice. We are after all americans where freedom of choice is essential, but one word have this collective issue that we all have to get vaccinated to protect everyone. We do need to have mandates. And as the mayor and the commissioner have said, mandates have proven very effective. Even among the most resistant groups, They have dramatically increased the number of people who have been vaccinated who've been sitting on the fence hesitant, they finally get the shot. So I applaud the notion that we're going to have mandates in new york city for all private employees of private businesses. Uh, we're going to have Children 5 to 11 who are engaged in high risk activities. Um, and then to go inside whether it's to the theater or to restaurants or to concerts and have to have the vaccine that will dramatically increase the number of of vaccinated people in the city and make it safer because community transmission will come down over time in these holiday seasons when we want to get together and be close to family. We have to remember, we can't let our guard down, especially as a micron is circulating and will no doubt be much more transmissible. What can we do? As the Commissioner said when we go indoors, We should not let our guard down. N 95 mask Kn 95 masks that are not uh fabricated are very, very good protection, having good ventilation, whether you've got to have a filter or keeping the windows open or getting together outside and going for a walk in beautiful new york city. All are effective ways of reducing the possibility of transmission. Um, I do think this mandate is a major step forward and as it has done so many times during the last 20 months of this pandemic New York City is showing the country how to lead in getting the whole community vaccinated and reducing the risk to our most vulnerable populations. Uh and especially people who cannot get vaccinated themselves. I applaud this latest initiative of key to new york city. Uh The mayor and the commissioner are doing a very, very important service to the entire populace of new york in mandating vaccines. Thank you so much. Dr Emmanuel, I just want to thank you. So, you're clear sharp message to everyone about why this matters. But also again, thank you over these last 20 months, you've been one of the great voices of reason and science and clarity in this nation as we've been making our way through this incredibly difficult crisis. So, thank you for your leadership. We need your voice and I thank you for it. Thank you mr Mayor. I'm sure my mother appreciates it. There we go. All right, well, so you heard from one of the great national voices on why this is so important. I want you to now let's take it local, let's go to the streets of new york city, let's go to our neighborhoods and hear from someone who really understands what this means at a neighborhood level, but also for a small business. You know, a lot of businesses have said they would actually like this kind of support of having a clear mandate that will help them clarify all their employees why it's so important to be vaccinated and that a single universal rule actually is better for everyone. Well, I want to hear from someone who uh really made it a priority himself to get his employees vaccinated. He understood that was important for their safety, but for the whole community and for the customers. So amazing story. He is the owner of the barber factory in the Bronx, He's been with us before and I want to give him a shout out. He has achieved something amazing. As of today, 100% of his staff are fully vaccinated. That's an amazing accomplishment. And I tip my cap nestor Lebron, you have done something great and we welcome you. Thank you. Mayor de Blasio. Um, I just want to say, can you hear me? Yes, we can. Absolutely, we can see your whole team too. Yeah, the guys are back here. Um, thank you. Mr de Blasio. Uh I'm nestor Lebron, owner of the Barbara factory in the Bronx. And I just want to say all of our staff were fully vaccinated. We've been vaccinated for a couple of months now and it makes a great difference um for our customers and for us, knowing that we're protected and we feel safe. Um coming in as patrons and, you know, with the community, the community can feel safe, you know, with us coming um coming in here, getting service and knowing that we're protected and uh, you know, we're doing the right things to to move forward and help our community out. Hey, nestor, what do you say to your customers when when they talk to you about what they're looking for, they want to go get a haircut, they're worried about Covid, What do you tell them about what it means to come into an environment where everyone's vaccine? Well, I mean, they know our customers know what we went through in the shutdown. So, so let them know to let the community know that we're back and we're taking all steps necessary to make sure that that doesn't happen again. You know, it means everything was it's our livelihood. That's what was put at risk before and we're doing everything so that that doesn't happen again. Amen. And when you got your employees, I see a lot of guys there. What's the conversation like if someone has a hesitation or concern, What's been the conversation that's helped everyone get to the point now that everyone is 100% vaccinated. Mhm. I mean it's it's mandatory for us. We're trying to do the right thing. You know, that's it stands behind our name the bomb factory to make sure that we do the right thing. So you know, we spoke to the guys guys, you know, this is something that we have to do to ensure safety. You know, and especially now with the new variant, you know, we feel better. We we don't well before when um when this all started, we didn't know what was going on. But now knowing that we're all vaccinated and the city has police. Uh it's just it's an amazing feeling nestor. I am very very impressed by what you've done. And as a new yorker, I am proud of you. You're sending a message to this whole city and you're showing the whole country what new york city is made of and our strength, our resilience. I've got some people here in the room with me who put together these press conferences were all gonna applaud you now. Thank you, nestor. Thank you. Good job. Thank you mr Mayor. Alright everyone. Well that's a that's not a true clear voice. I don't know what is. And nestor show an example to everyone and what he said. We all went through shutdowns. We do not want to go through it again. It had a horrible dislocating impact on the lives of our families, our kids, we couldn't be in school businesses shut down. People lost their livelihood. We cannot let that happen again. So that's why we're doing this a preemptive strike, this major new initiative to keep people safe and now we'll go to the indicators and they once again show us both what's working vaccination and the challenge. More and more cases of covid. So on vaccination, you heard from dr choksi, there's been a surge of vaccinations. That's great, particularly the boosters. That's really great. But we want to see a surge. Now of those first doses for people who haven't had them, particularly our youngest new Yorkers. We want to see a surge of second doses for anyone who is delaying the second dose. As of today, we're 12,682,136 doses, an astounding figure. But we need that to jump up again to keep us safe from a macron and delta. Both number two, daily number of people admitted to new york city hospitals for suspected covid 19. Today's report 100 and nine patients confirmed positivity of 37.27% Hospitalization rate per 100,000 New Yorkers is 1.01 and again, it's the first time we've been over one and that is something we're watching very carefully. The first time in a while, I should say. We've been over one. Um And then new reported cases on a seven day average. Today's report 1,879 cases, I'm gonna say a few words in spanish on the mandate for private sector employers. Elman data, the Bacuna parallels employee arrows, their sector. Privado comments. Sarah l benty is set. The ACM esto se Bleeckere are cientos, the meals they impress us in the ciudad de Nueva york. The ester manera Bama's bring Dallas are told us of your key knows that protects U. K. Marissa with that let's turn to our colleagues in the media and please let me know the name and outlet of each journalist. Good morning. We'll now begin the Q and A as a reminder, we're joined today by dr Dave choksi health Commissioner, dr mitch katz President and Ceo of NYC Health and Hospital's dr ted long head of NYC test and Trace Georgia. Pestana Corporation Counsel for NYC law department Rachel Loeb, President and Ceo of NYC Economic Development Corporation, Vikki Bean Deputy Mayor of Housing and Economic Development and Jenelle Doris Small Business services Commissioner. Our first question for today goes to Marcia with WCBS Morning. How are you today, Marsha? How you been? Good. I wonder if you're coordinating this with the governor of new york state and we can expect to see her adopt the steps that you're taking today as well. March, I spoke with governor hopeful this morning and gave her an update on what we were doing and I said, look based on all of our experience, including with the key to N. Y. C. With the restaurants with indoor dining and entertainment. That we really were confident this was the right next step and that private sector employers would work with us to get this done. So I told her why it was the right thing to do for us. Now. We had good conversation. I'll certainly let her speak for her own approach here and let me emphasize, I respect the Governor. We work well together, we talk regularly. There's a lot of coordination and communication and I appreciate that that's been really, really helpful in our efforts to keep people safe, go ahead, Marcia. Second question is, is this um mr Mayor, I know that there's been some concern about private sector people coming back to work in january and I know that um there's been some concern expressed by the business community about their, you know, the number of people who want to come back because they like telecommuting, etcetera. Are you afraid that these new mandates, especially in the finance sector and in the the tech sector, which have been the fastest growing parts of new york city? Are you afraid that this is going to slow down their return to the offices, which could affect other small businesses etcetera and the city. It's an important question Marcia and I'll tell you, I actually feel very good about what the impact will be. I'll tell you why, because I've heard from so many business leaders, including in those sectors like finance and tech, that the best thing for them is for the government to lead the way. Well, we did lead the way with the approach to our own employees. That's been incredibly successful. We led the way with the key to NYC reaching with the indoor dining with the indoor entertainment, showing the larger private sector that, and those parts of our economy, it could really work for everyone and has a lot of them recognize that, but it's always better for the private sector if the government sets a single universal standard. So they don't have to have the reality with their employees are saying, hey, this is something we're going to do on our own. Um, this is what a lot have actually asked for in the private sector. One standard that applies to everyone. I think you're going to see a lot of people embrace it. You're going to see a lot of people make the decision, it's time to get vaccinated. There's also obviously, many, many people are vaccinated. So for them, you know, they're coming back to the office, there are already vaccinated that's done. So I really think we're gonna see this actually help ultimately, just like you heard when it comes to any other business environment, if people know where they go is going to be safe. It actually encourages them to come back to the office. Our next question goes to Juliet with 10, 10 wins. Yes, Good morning Mr Mayor and everybody on the call. Um, so I guess my question is, how do you plan on enforcing this with private business? Well, will there be reports that they have to submit or will inspectors go to the office? How does that work? So Juliet, we're going to work with the different business communities between now and December 15 to put together those protocols will publish them on December 15. So it's still well before the mandate takes effect, December 27. And look, we have a really impressive body of knowledge now from the key to N. Y. C. There was a lot of dialogue with the business community in advance. We figured out ways to improve the approach to educating, providing support. We're going to have that call center for any concerns. We're going to work with people. The goal, of course, is just get them there in a way that works for them. And, and really, we found a key to NYC. overwhelmingly it's gone smoothly, so we'll work that through. We'll put that on December 15. But I feel they've got a lot of evidence now that this approach will work. Go ahead Juliette. Okay, thank you. And would there be penalties for non compliance Juliette. Look, it is part of life that there have to be some consequences, but I want to emphasize one will figure out what makes sense By December 15 when we put out the guidelines. But I want to remind you and we'll get you the latest facts on this. It's been amazing with the key to NYC very few times. We actually had to penalize people. We focused on educating, we focused on warnings and helping people figure out how to do it. Well, uh, there's been very few instances where it got to the point where there had to be any penalty. So it's always a tool we have. But I think the fact is we've already proven that there's a good cooperative way to get this done. We've done it with a big swath of our business community already. And I think this next step is going to be something really. The vast majority of businesses are going to embrace and work with us to get done. I mean, you just heard from nestor. He didn't have to do what he did. He did it because it made sense for his customers and his employees. I think this is gonna help a lot of business is to get it done because it's one standard for everyone. Our next question goes to James with Pix 11 and Good morning Mr Mayor and everyone on the call. Happy new week. Happy New week James. How are you feeling? Not bad. Thank you. Not bad at all. Hope you're well. Feeling good man. Okay, So I'm with the questions, uh, and maybe this is sort of a follow to uh Marsha's question. I'm curious to know how much conversation you've had about the private sector mandate with the mayor elect. I mean, I get that december 15th. You're planning on coming up with certain standards by which businesses have to comply, but it doesn't go into effect as I understand it from what you've said until 27 December, which is less than a week before you leave office and someone else does what is the role of the next administration in enforcing what this plan that you've come up with. Look, first of all, everyone knows, I have tremendous respect for our mayor elect, eric Adams and we talk all the time. We met at Gracie Mansion right before he went on his trip to Ghana. We talked through a variety of pending issues. I gave him the initial thinking on this. We had another conversation late this friday while he was over there gave him the full update on what we're doing. Look, he has always said he understands right now there are urgent threats facing our city and the mayor's job is to protect new Yorkers and that's my responsibility up to the very last minute. Um he understands the urgency of the situation. I'll let him speak for himself about what he thinks about each approach, but he has been tremendously clear that he respects the healthcare professionals and their guidance. He respects the science and what it tells us. And I can tell you James, our healthcare leadership absolutely believed this was a necessary act because of a Macron and that likely very high level transmissibility because of the colder weather and because of holiday gatherings, that's a triple threat and we need to be aggressive. So, I think the merit of this will become very, very clear. Go ahead James, um, thank you and Jeff following up on your last point and uh I'd love to hear from you and maybe one of the medical professionals on the call, Can you talk about, you said this is a preemptive strike against Omicron, but uh certainly Delta is overwhelmingly the predominant problem at this point, as far as we know, can you talk about how much these new measures that you're announcing our preemptive and how much they are reactive, particularly noting that the indicators are rising, you did also point out that hospitalizations, for instance, went above The number one for the first time in quite a long time. Yeah, yeah. The reason I say preemptive is it's time to do something even bigger before a macron asserts itself here, before we get into the holiday gatherings, before it gets to the really colder weather. It's actually been surprisingly nice weather the last few weeks, but that won't go for too much longer, we know that. So it's pre emptive because we needed to do something bold quickly and get ahead of all of this. These are major threats looming and we, we see it with the numbers rising because of Delta. We see it with the nature of the crime as we understand it right now. That's a lot all happening at once. So to give you the medical thinking on the turn first to Dr Katz and then the doctor choksi and we have had really just conversation after conversation trying to figure out the right tools. And what I've heard from the medical team loud and clear is vaccination, vaccination, vaccination and anything that gets more people vaccinated. That's what we need to do. That's what we have to do right now, Dr Katz first. Yes sir. I think you have it absolutely correct. One of the things that I find so interesting about this particular covid virus is how good it is at finding the unvaccinated Despite the fact that we are at such a high level in new york, this virus is amazing at finding those people who are unvaccinated and making them sick. And so everything that we can do to get everyone vaccinated will make a huge difference. While there are still cases among people who are vaccinated, they are overwhelmingly mild people having some symptoms sometimes testing positive without any symptoms. But for people who are unvaccinated, we continue to see in our hospital very serious disease. People on ventilators. People dying. We desperately want everybody vaccinated so that we do not have to have any more death in new york city we have gone through enough. Thank you sir. Amen dr choksi Yes, I agree. This isn't all of the above approach because it's an all hands on deck moment for a new york city. Um We're seeing enough about a micron that is concerning that warrants the bold steps that the mayor announced today. Um And we have a chance to uh blunt the effect of delta in the here and now as well. What we do know is the common thread is that vaccination saves lives and it helps us to prevent suffering. So that's the very clear public health rationale for the steps that we're taking today. Thank you. Thank you. Go ahead. Our next question goes to Aaron with politico prayer. Um just a couple detailed logistical things about this private employer mandate. So um are you talking about all employers? Is that regardless of their size and is that is it regardless of whether the employee is in person or remote or is it applying only to in person employees? Erin We're gonna put out the detailed standards on December 15. The broad stroke is it's impersonal employment. Uh And so remote is obviously different. And essentially that means people working from their home, We're talking about impersonal employment. Uh and we're talking about whenever it's you know more than one person. Uh if someone you know has a place of employment there, the only employee that's a different matter, but if it's more than one person, that's what we're focused on. Go ahead erin corporate tax. Um And then I'm wondering um you know, so the city's approach to this was to put the employees who are unvaccinated on unpaid leave. Um That seems just at first blush, like the kind of thing that not every small business, you know unpaid, like those type of leave policies don't necessarily exist. So I'm just wondering, are you giving, are people going to get fired? Are people going to be an unpaid leave, like what is going to happen to the unvaccinated employees at these private businesses? We're going to work with the business community and working out these guidelines by december 15th. Obviously there's going to be the kind of thing we've seen throughout all of the mandates, some kind of process made available. If folks want to request a reasonable accommodation, that's been a consistent and effective tool, vast majority of people don't do that or don't end up getting it obviously, but that's something that will be available. Um And really a different companies will have different approaches. Different businesses. Look, I think uh first of all, so many people, thank God are vaccinated, let's remember that they will already be covered. Second of all, a lot more people will get vaccinated because this has been true with every single mandate. So the bottom line is, I don't think there's gonna be too many situations where you're talking about someone potentially having to take leave. Bigger companies might do a leave policy, others might do something else. But We've got time to work it through between now and December 15th. Our next question goes to Elizabeth with Gothamist Good Morning Mr Mayor. I wanted to follow up on James question about your conversations with Mayor elect Adams. Can you say when you arrived at this decision and when you had a conversation with Mayor elect Adams and why isn't he on this call with you this morning? Well, Elizabeth, obviously I can't speak for his schedule and he's overseas right now. But I can say, as I said, I had two conversations with him as we were starting to formulate this right before it was the day he actually was leaving for Ghana. We had a detailed conversation and a more detailed conversation on friday night as we were perfecting this and working on the final details. So again, I'm sure he'll be speaking to it. But he uh and every conversation we've had about fighting Covid, he has been really consistent on the point that he is feeling urgency about these new threats And he understands that my job is to keep New Yorkers safe until December 31 and then hand the baton to him. So I feel very, very good about the conversations we've had and the close coordination that he and I are constantly involved in go ahead Elizabeth. So this is the season or time of year where a lot of companies are having holiday parties, what would you and your health officials say to these companies who may have unvaccinated workers about holding these kind of gatherings. Well, I'll start as a layman and I'll let the healthcare professionals weigh in. I start with get everyone vaccinated and where masks and gatherings, I mean I think that's to really essential points that cover the core of what we need to do. I think people can still gather but gather the smart way dr choksi dr katz Dr long who wants to go first. I'm happy to start sir, but you're exactly right. You know, the safest holiday gatherings are the ones where everyone is fully vaccinated and we are encouraging that you know, particularly as we see cases increase. That is one very concrete way to make them even safer if there is a mix of unvaccinated and vaccinated people. The precautions that the mayor has mentioned are extremely important, masking distancing, making sure that people get tested both before and after a gathering and the final thing is to keep it as small as possible. Um if we bring all of these things to bear together, but particularly starting with the foundation of vaccination, everyone can be kept safe for. Thank you. Thank you. Dr Catherine dr long, you want to add, I'll just add, I'm a big believer in open windows and outdoor parties. So in addition to all of the things that DR chomsky said, I think that's a nice way of adding a layer of protection. Thank you sir. Amen Dr long. Yeah, I would just add that. I think as we think about holiday gatherings, this is the success of our key to NYC policy that we've been a national leader in setting setting up. We require people to be vaccinated, going to certain types of gatherings like at restaurants and I think for holiday parties, I would strongly encourage employers to think about the success in terms of how key to NYC has kept our city is safe and use those same standards. And again, regardless of vaccination status, I want to go back to one thing that DR choksi said, get tested before you go to gatherings, especially if they're among people that you don't ordinarily see and then get tested after the gathering as well. Thank you sir. Thank you very much. Our next question goes to Nolan with the post. Hey, good morning, everybody. Can you hear me? Yeah, no. And how you doing today? I'm doing well. Mr Mayor. I would just like to start by saying that in a time where in the city is facing a new coronavirus variant and their concerns about access to testing and the rollout of a new mandate policy and everyone's trying to figure out just how we get on with life amid all this. It is urgent and essential that city hall take questions from reporters and make you available at every opportunity and that the dramatic restrictions placed in the press corps and its ability to access to you regularly are not helping that cause. And I just want to lead off with that. And I would like to follow that by asking what exactly is the legal advice that you've got in terms of how this is legal? How can the city compel these sorts of conditions upon employment and participating in an office activities? Uh let me just say very simply as I turn to Georgia pestana, our corporation counsel, One of the things I'm proud of over the course of this crisis and it's been a horrible crisis is that our healthcare leaders have been so constantly answering the concerns and questions not only the media but of everyday new Yorkers. Community leaders, elected officials constantly in these morning press conferences in endless zooms and community meetings that I have regular press conferences and have throughout. Obviously in addition to what I do with W. N. Y. C. And new york one, we have made it a point to constantly communicate and we will right up to the last day and I'm proud of that. And I know a lot of new Yorkers have expressed their appreciation to me. Uh the question of why this makes sense legally and otherwise The Universality is key. No one we believe the right way to approach this is a clear, strong standard for everyone and the Commissioner of Health has to act when there is a health crisis and we have seen it deeply over the last two years. But now we have these three factors bearing down on us a new variant, which appears to be very transmissible cold weather, which we know unfortunately facilitates the spread of covid because people indoors and the many, many holiday gatherings that will be happening, including family gatherings, those three together, as I say, that's a triple threat, That's a real cause for concern. Our Health Commissioner does have the legal right to say, here's something that's very particular to protect the health of all new Yorkers. But from a purely legal standard I want to hear from our corporation counsel Georgia pestana. Thank you, Mayor. You're absolutely right. The Health Commissioner has an obligation and a responsibility to protect the public health. Here he is issuing an order that is intended to do just that in a public health emergency. So he has the authority and it is across the board. So it's not picking one uh industry over another and treating them differently. So, we're confident that this will survive any challenges. Thank you very much. Go ahead. No one. Uh Thanks mr Mayor. And just to rebut what you said, your administration has done away with technical briefing, it's done away with the ability of the press to ask more than one follow up question in any round questioning and it has done away with the daily briefings taking them to just two a week. So I I just challenged to borrow your phrase. Your premise secondly, how are parents supposed to get their kids into restaurants for the expansion to keep? Um are they supposed to carry their kids vast cards with them or what mechanisms are put in place to help parents do this exact same approach as we've seen with the rest of the NyC, including for kids 12 to 17 and it's been working perfectly well. Yeah, you've got the apps, you can carry the physical vax card, whatever it takes. Um But look, this is going to help make sure a lot more kids are vaccinated, but also it's a fair standard that parents will certainly be able to meet. We have time for two more questions for today. Our next question goes to Emma with the new york times. Hi, good morning Mayor. I'm curious also about the legality here, can you say, what precisely is your legal authority to do this? And you know, the biden administration tried to do this for private employers with more than 100 employees. Um and that is currently stalled in court. So what makes you think yours will be successful when his was not really important question And I'll of course I'll turn to Georgia passed on in a second, but I just want to say, look, the biden administration has been exemplary what they have done with a variety of mandates and policies has really helped save this nation. And obviously, you know, very, very extensive vaccination effort. What they've done with the military getting vaccinated is astounding the high high percentage now in our military of vaccinated people. They've done so many things that worked and have been in the right direction and I agree with them on their approach to private sector employers around the country. But we have here an immediate set of circumstances and we have the legal right of the Health commissioner to keep the people of this city safe. That is something that's been proven time and time again. We've been in court many times on a variety issues. State court, federal court. We have every single time been validated by the courts when the health commissioner believes there is a pressing public health threat has the ability to act in that situation. That's the broad strokes Now, for a more erudite answer our Corporation counsel Georgia Pestana, thank you. Good. The Commissioner of Health as I said, has the authority to issue a mandate like this to protect the public health and his authority to do that has been upheld time and again, the trouble that the biden administration has run into in court doesn't really apply here. Those injunctions were issued because there are questions about the authority of OSHA in one case and CMS which is the agency that regulates Medicare and Medicaid providers authority to issue the mandates that they did here either. I don't believe there is any question that dr chomsky has the authority to issue this mandate and it's the across the board nature of it. That is also I think makes it defensible. Thank thank you. Go ahead Emma Um a few more questions on specific. So um to be clear there will not be a testing option as an alternative. Um and folks would need one dose by December 27. That's right. The the there's not a testing option as an alternative and anyone who is unvaccinated would need one dose by December 27 as I said on December 15 will issue much more detailed guidelines. but we want to reach everyone who is not yet vaccinated and this is a clear, strong standard that allows us to do that. Our last question for today goes to Katie with the city. Hey, good morning Mayor de Blasio, I'm going to ask um About two agencies that are not private necessarily, but I'm also not under your purview. It's about CUny and the CIA, there's currently not a mandate for keeping employees. I know there's one for students. Um I think they have an option to get tested and the same for the employer mandate. So have you spoken with the Governor's office about this and you, does this extend to them. This new mandate. The mandate is for private sector employers. We'll get the um all the details out again by December 15. But it does not apply obviously to the state government or state related entities like CUny and the to and look, Katie, I've said it for now. Probably a couple of months I believe across this country, private sector and public sector mandates are necessary. I think they're helpful. They've been proven to work. We now have a really extensive experience with our schools, with our health care system. What we did with the rest of our city workforce most recently. The key to NYC every single time it's worked and the fears that originally existed were proven wrong. Thank God. And they've been just extraordinary growth in the number of people vaccinated. Each mandate has just caused a lot more people get vaccinated, simple as that. So I really hope all levels of government will use them more and more going forward. Go ahead, Katie. So have you had I don't want to count the second question. I know you're really strict about that and we have limited time. Um I guess you'll continue conversations with escape on CUny and M. T. A. But my other question is it just seems that this, I want to know I get more details about how you discussed this with private sector companies. Some people have announced today. They were very surprised by this mandate. Business leaders around the city seemed to be very surprised by this. There seems to be a limited amount of time between now and the 15th. That's about nine days getting this together. Uh and then the enforcement really happened under the next administration. So just if you want to talk a little bit more about um how many conversations you had with the relevant stakeholders before making this announcement this morning on, I will say on cable television when you could have said in the local tv or you could have been offered here, but that's just me splitting hairs. Thank you for uh for everything you said the conversations with the private sector to go back months and months about the different approaches. We based our thinking on a lot of factors. The most important is the health and safety of all new Yorkers. So even though of course we want input, the most important thing is what's going to keep people safe and our healthcare leadership was adamant that this was a step that we could and must take. Um we know from extensive conversations over months uh with private sector employers what their concerns are. And we also know that many of them have said that when mandates are in place, it actually helps them when the government leads, it is helpful. We're going to have time to work with the private sector on what the exact standards would be. That's between now and the 15th, given everything we've worked on together before that's enough time to solidify these standards. And then from the 15-27 time to get ready and remember thank God such a high percentage of employees are already vaccinated. That helps a lot. But I'll tell you the number one thing I've heard from the private sector now over many months is that we must avert shutdowns, we must avert the huge restrictions we had last year. We've got to get continuity and move forward and when the government acts and sets the example, it helps the private sector. So of course we did this for our employees first before we're asking others to do it for theirs and that's been such a powerful example and it's worked. So um I feel very good about the fact that the the input we've gotten over months and months, about the general direction has been clear and this uh is borrowing from that input but much more importantly is based on the single most important factor, what's going to keep new Yorkers safe as we now face a new threat. And this will do that. This mandate will make a huge difference. It will be in effect quickly and it's going to help protect people then for months and months to come because everyone gets even that first dose starts on the pathway to being protected and that helps protect all of us. So without everyone again I thank every new yorker who has gotten vaccinated. I thank nestor and so many good people like him who have made that decision to turn to their employees and say it's time everyone. This is gonna help everyone take that next big step. And if you have not gotten vaccinated today is the day to do it. If you're looking for that booster, it's out there, go get it today. Keep us all safe. Thank you everyone.