The entrance to the The New York County District Attorney's office at 1 Hogan Place  in Manhattan.
New York CNN  — 

A Covid-19 outbreak at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office mainly stemming from an offsite holiday party is causing staff shortages and other disruptions, according to a letter sent to staff by Bonnie Sard, Administrative Assistant for the District Attorney.

This recent outbreak follows a national trend of rising Covid-19 cases before the holiday season as an average of close to 120,000 new Covid-19 cases are being diagnosed each day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – 50% more than a month ago.

The winter surge, coupled with fears about the Omicron variant, has already forced organizations to rethink their plans for holiday parties. On Tuesday, the White House said it would dramatically scale back its party plans due to Covid concerns.

In the DA’s office, the uptick of Covid-19 cases “has caused significant staffing shortages, disruptions to the department’s practice, and other challenges,” Sard explained in her letter, which the office shared with CNN.

It’s unclear how many staff members tested positive and a representative of the district attorney’s office would not elaborate on the impact of the outbreak.

Some of the positive employees have experienced mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19, the administrative assistant said.

Staff members who tested positive must quarantine, and numerous staff of the impacted department have been asked not to come into the office for work out of an abundance of caution, Sard said.

“The health and safety of our staff continues to be of paramount importance, and it is with this in mind that we are instructing all bureaus, units and departments to cancel any on-site holiday or social gatherings through the end of the year,” the letter said.

The letter instructs employees to stay home and gets tested if they feel unwell, as well as following protective measures such as masking indoors while in the office and get vaccine boosters.

“We urge you to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster right now if you still have not received one. A number of studies emphasize the protective effect of booster vaccination against severe COVID illness and variants such as Delta and Omicron,” Sard said.