CNN aims to reopen offices for all employees on Jan. 18

The exterior of the CNN Center building located in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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The exterior of the CNN Center building located in Atlanta. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Going to the office for most employees will remain voluntary; some have been required to be there.

CNN is going to allow office workers who aren’t required to be there to return Jan. 18.

UPDATE on 1/15: The reopening date has shifted to Jan. 31.

The network, which still has hefty operations in Atlanta, on Dec. 18 closed its offices for most employees as the omicron variant surged.

Though COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are way up from a month ago, deaths have not yet gone up. The variant, experts have said, appears more contagious but less severe, especially for people who are already vaccinated and boosted.

According to CNN’s Oliver Darcy on Twitter, CNN employees who do work in the office must wear KF94/KN95 masks in the control rooms. New York-based CNN president Jeff Zucker in a memo to employees said he expects boosters to be required for entry “at some point.”

A full-fledged reopening of all offices previously set for Jan. 24 looks “no longer realistic,” Zucker said.

“My hope is that we will not need to push that date too much further into the future,” he wrote. “We will continue to keep you posted.”

These announcements impact all domestic CNN bureaus, including Atlanta’s operations at CNN Center, where several hundred employees work.