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COVID: Case Surge From Delta Variant Forces Delay in Returning to Office

CUPERTINO (CBS SF) -- A surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant is throwing a wrench into plans by Silicon Valley companies to bring workers back into offices.

Apple has reportedly postponed plans to bring most employees back to the office from September to October. Many smaller companies are doing the same.

"The first concern is the kind of new virus called Delta," said Bochen Wang, who runs a small financial services startup called Zeitro.

His company only has 15 employees, but is dealing with some of the same issues as the tech giants.

"We were supposed to be back on July 1st and we postponed our back to office
plan to three months later. Now it will be October or November 1st," Wang said.

Google had planned to bring 60 percent of its workers back for a few days a week beginning in September. But now the timeline is in question as the company monitors what it calls a "dynamic" situation.

In the meantime, the city of San Jose is moving ahead to gradually bring back its 6,000 employees and re-open City Hall on August 2nd.

"At this current time, we are not planning on changing our current plans," said Spokesperson Vicki Day.

And this week, the county of Santa Clara brought back many of its 22,000 employees who were still working from home.

"We prepared by getting ascertainment of every employee's vaccination status," said county executive Dr. Jeff Smith.

Smith said over 90% of county workers are vaccinated and everyone
must be masked in all public areas of county buildings.

But many public and private company employees are in no rush to return to the office. They're hoping to extend work from home for at least a few days a week permanently.

"Their productivity is way up," said Zeb Feldman, a CEMA Union official who represents 2,000 county employees.

"They've been able to work from home successfully and we'd really like to push employers like the county in that direction," Feldman said.

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