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MTA, FDNY Among NYC Agencies Struggling With Staffing Issues Due To COVID-19's Resurgence

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- From Broadway to sports, the surge in Omicron variant cases is continuing to disrupt lives.

Staffing shortages are beginning to hit New York City agencies, leading to delays and cutbacks on essential services, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Monday.

FIND TESTING SITES: Click here for New York City's testing site locator, including mobile sites and at-home appointments

If you plan on riding the subway this week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is asking for your patience.

Trains will be running less frequently than usual.

The agency, like many others in New York, has been affected by the COVID-19 surge.

The delays are expected to last until Thursday.


By reducing scheduled service, the MTA said, "It is able to reallocate train crews where they're needed, rather than cancel individual trips."

Other city agencies are struggling, too.

According to the FDNY, 15% of fire and 22% of EMS are out on medical leave.

READ MOREFDNY: More EMS Crews Calling Out Sick As Emergency Calls Rise

Oren Barzilay, who leads Local 2507, the union representing EMTs and paramedics, said more than 100 ambulances have been unstaffed every shift.

"Some people had to wait hours for an ambulance, so it's dangerous to the public. It's dangerous to our men and women because they are being overworked," Barzilay said.

AVOID THE LINES: Click here for NYC Health+Hospitals testing wait times

To make matters worse, union leaders say call volumes are rising, approaching peak-pandemic levels back in 2020.

"Every day it has been going up by a few hundred calls for the past week. And we actually passed over 5,000 again last week on a daily basis," Barzilay said.

To ease staffing shortages, Gov. Kathy Hochul has shortened quarantine guidelines for essential workers in New York.

The MTA said it is working to implement those changes.

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