New York City, NY

City workers speak against Mayor Adams lifting mandate for pro athletes, 'stealth' variant hits NY region & more news

Anthony Payero

By Anthony Payero

(NEW YORK) Happy FRIDAY, fellow New Yorkers! Today is March 25, and this is another weekend edition of the New York City Daily Roundup — the best way to catch up on the latest news from across the Big Apple.

On Friday, New York City will see mild temperatures peaking at 62°F, with sunny conditions for most of the early afternoon until about 2 p.m. Partly cloudy conditions are expected until the 7:13 p.m. sunset, as temperatures remain in the 50s. Expect rain showers on Saturday and a return to partly cloudy weather on Sunday, per Accuweather.

As for the news, here are the top local stories this Friday:

1.) City workers speak out after COVID-19 mandates lifted for pro athletes, entertainers

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the end of the vaccine mandate for professional athletes and entertainers, to the dismay of city workers.

While Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving can now play in home games for the first time this season, other workers, including police officers, firefighters and teachers, are still unable to do so without the vaccine.

"By putting our home teams on equal playing field, we increase their chances of winning and then has a real impact on our city," Adams said. "This is just not fans in the stands but it is people in the stores."

"When New York City shut down, many workers were mandated to come in every day without vaccines to keep the city running," Municipal Labor Committee chair Harry Nespolli said. "These workers often got sick, and when they got better, came right back to work. There should be a reentry program for workers to get their jobs back. There can't be one system for the elite and another for the essential workers of our city. We stand ready to work out the details with the Mayor, as we have been throughout this process."

2.) 'Stealth' omicron variant takes over as dominant COVID-19 strain in NY

New omicron variant BA.2 has been the most prominent strain of COVID-19 to affect the New York region as of late, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new strain accounts for 52% of new cases in New York, per NBC 4. Despite the latest uptick, New York is not in "alarmist" mode, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

3.) NYPD enlists emotional support dogs to help officers

The New York City Police Department introduced two new K9 unit pups on Wednesday — Jenny and Piper. The two dogs are part of the Employee Assistance Unit, as their aim is to help police officers cope with work-related stress.

"Both of these dogs were at St. Patrick's Cathedral for our two officers that lost their lives — not only comforting our officers who are mounting, but also the family members. These dogs are requested to sit next to the widows and the family members who died," said Deputy Inspector Mark Wachter.

"There are stigmas in law enforcement that exist. People don't always want to come forward and say they are going through something, but having done this without a dog and doing this with a dog, now it's dramatically different. Dogs have a tendency to lighten the mood and [bring] down the stress," added Detective and handler Ronald Thomas.

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