The chief executive for The New York Times Company announced in an email to employees on Friday that the paper of record would be indefinitely delaying its return to the office, citing the increasing spread of the delta variant and the government's most recent face mask recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday that in areas of the country with “substantial” or “high” levels of coronavirus transmission, even fully vaccinated people should wear masks inside.
“In light of the evolution of the virus, including new trends around the Delta variant and the updated guidance from the C.D.C. this week on masking, we have decided to push out our plans for a full return at this time,” Meredith Kopit Levien wrote, according to the Times.
The delta variant has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., contributing to surges of new cases, particularly in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.
Levien's move pushes back an original return to office date of Sept. 7, when staff could have started working from the building at least three days a week.
She said in her email that a new reopening date was not ready to be announced yet but that the company would give at least four weeks’ notice before staff were required to return. Employees who did want to go into the office on their own would have to show they’ve been vaccinated.
Companies including Apple, Google and Facebook have either shifted their start dates back or asked employees to show proof of vaccination upon returning to work.