If you've been driving around the Capital Region and thought to yourself, "Even though we've started to open up, traffic is still really light." Well, that's about to change with state workers getting ready to go back to work in Phase Three of Governor Cuomo's reopening plan.

As the Capital Region prepares to enter Phase Three, hopefully, next week, state offices have been preparing for "non-essential" employees to return to work. Agencies and offices have been preparing much like private businesses have. Things like rearranged office spaces to keep social distancing, rules on the number of people that can be in a bathroom or kitchen at one time, guidelines on masks being worn, arrows in the hallways to keep a one-way flow through offices spaces, and staggered work shift.

These are great for state workers that are working "behind the scenes" in state offices, but what about those that interact with the public on a day to day basis? According to The Times Union, employees at the Department of Motor Vehicles and the unions are hammering out those details now on how to keep employees and the public safe. Currently, the DMV is conducting business online, by dropbox, and by mail. Drivers testing is only currently being given for CDL licenses. Of course, masks must be worn at all times. Find out more at www.dmv.ny.gov

Currently, more than 30% of the state workers have been working from home since March. Some of those workers will be able to continue to do so. Working from home might even prevent future layoffs since in the long run there can be cost savings for the state. Although, New York did have to invest a lot, like $27 million, to set up the I.T. infrastructure, hardware, and software to allow telecommuting. According to the Times Union, that money is supposed to be reimbursed by the federal government.

So when you're caught in traffic on the Thruway, it's for a good reason, state workers are returning to their jobs. Although, I'm sure some of them might not share your enthusiasm.

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