Wall Street employers are again telling New York City workers to prepare for in-person work – with most setting return dates in February – after companies like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase delayed their initial plans when the Omicron surge rocked the Big Apple last month.

New York City’s COVID-19 case numbers have dropped, as has the rest of America, over the past week. The New York Times reported that the average number of cases in New York City dropped 70% from 40.150 on January 10th to 12.012 Monday. That’s nearly a 50% drop from the 24,906 cases reported one week ago. 

Wall Street’s giants announced new dates for their employees, seeing the light at end of the tunnel. Citigroup advised its staff in the metropolitan area to expect a return visit to the office within two days starting February 7. A person who is familiar with this policy said that the New York Times was informed by the Citigroup.

Citigroup did not release any information about the dates for its other offices. According to the source it will continue to tell its workers in other areas of the U.S. to work remotely.

Major NYC employers are setting February dates for staff to return to work in person, as COVID-19 cases continue dropping. Above, pedestrians walk outside a seemingly deserted Goldman Sachs building in lower Manhattan on January 18

Due to continuing decline in COVID-19 cases, many major NYC employers set February date for staff members to return to work. On January 18th, pedestrians walked outside an apparently deserted Goldman Sachs building.

Citigroup and BNP Paribas have both set February 7 return dates, while Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase both have February 1 return dates. Above, a man walks past a JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan on January 13

Citigroup and BNP Paraibas both established February 7 return dates. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and JPMorgan Chase have February 1 returns dates. Above: A man walks by a JPMorgan Chase Bank in Manhattan on January 13.

COVID-19 cases have been dropping across the country over the past two weeks

Over the last two weeks, COVID-19 has been experiencing a drop in cases all across the country

NYC saw a 70% drop in average COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, going from 40,150 on January 10 to 12,012 on Monday

 NYC saw a 70% drop in average COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, going from 40,150 on January 10 to 12,012 on Monday

JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase advised their employees to return to the office beginning February 1 after they both delayed their returns ahead of the holidays. This happened because COVID-19 case were not under control before the holidays. Goldman Sachs originally planned for an January 14th return date.

Ahead of Citibank’s return date, it will also follow through on its promise to terminate any employees who were not vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-January.

Citigroup announced earlier this month, that U.S.-based employees not up to date with their vaccinations by January 14 will be on unpaid leaves and terminated at the end the month unless an exemption or accommodation is granted.

BNP Paribas has set the February 7th return date for U.S. personnel after having delayed about one month its plans to resume work in person due to Omicron surge.

Retail banking firm Omicron employs approximately 14,000 Americans. It will require U.S. employees to work at most one day per week. This is comparable to the policy it had in place late last year, before Omicron took over the country.

We wanted to return to a conservative approach after what Omicron did. So we only have people in the office if there’s a business critical need for them to be in,” Kevin Abraszek, the company’s head of HR change and transformation in New York, told Reuters on Friday.

Employees are required to be vaccinated to work in the office, but Abraszek said those who weren’t vaccinated would be permitted to continue working from home. He said, “I believe we’re going back to examine that decision as well as that policy in early parts of the year.”

Abraszek stated that half of the staff will be filled in the office after the February return date.

“We had been skewing between 25%-30% late last year,” said he. “We will probably get to this point, and our hope is, in the spring and possibly into the summer, we’ll be closer towards that 50 percent.”

Abraszek’s estimate is higher than most NYC companies, as only 16% of big employers said they currently have a daily attendance of 50% or more and an additional 7% said they expect in-person attendance to cross that threshold by the end of this month.

About 75% of major NYC employers, including Citigroup (whose offices are pictured above), had to delay their plans for returning to work in person due to the Omicron variant, according to a new survey

According to a survey, 75% of NYC’s major employers (including Citigroup, whose offices can be seen above) had to postpone plans to return to work due to Omicron.


The Partnership for New York City was able to survey employers between January 10-18. A quarter of those surveyed couldn’t predict when they would be able to attend in person at half their capacity. About half the remaining respondents said they anticipate reaching 50% in 2023, somewhere between spring 2020 and early 2023.

The survey also found that 75% of employers delayed their planned returns to the office due to the Omicron variant’s hold on the city.

The decline in Covid cases is also being seen across the country, as well. Dr. Anthony Fauci said on ABC’s This Week Sunday that Omicron cases will likely start dropping throughout the nation by mid-February as the hardest-hit cities experience infection rate dips of up to 64 percent.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert said that the US will likely start to ‘see a turnaround’ in cases and hospitalizations as the highly-contagious variant begins to slow – and that it could signal a gradual return to normal.

The famously grim White House COVID expert, said that he hoped that the infection levels would drop to below the “area control” as the nation progresses into the coming weeks and months.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on ABC's This Week that most US states could peak by mid-February

In an appearance on ABC’s This Week Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that many US states might reach peak status by mid-February.

“Control is not about eliminating it. It’s not about eradicating them. But it does get down to such a low level, that it becomes a part of the common respiratory infections we’ve learned how to live with.

New York, which saw parts of the country paralysed by Omicron in October, has had cases drop 58% over a fortnight and 82% weekly, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

According to New York Times data the Empire State recorded 27,643 cases Saturday as opposed to 79.777 cases Jan 9. This represents a 44% decrease in cases over two weeks.

In the two most recent weeks, the number of people who have died due to Covid has increased by 71%. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 62,000 New Yorkers have become sick from the virus.

Fauci stated that although the majority of Americans are progressing in the right direction, it is not the same for every state. Fauci urged Americans to be vaccinated, and he recommended wearing masks inside. These measures are the best defense against this variant.

He said that things were looking promising. We don’t want them to become too confident, but it seems like they are moving in the right direction at this time.