Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the plan was "to reduce our physical presence at United Nations Headquarters, while continuing to deliver on our mandates."
"Your health and well-being remain my greatest concern. Be safe, be smart, be kind," he said in a separate message to staff Thursday. About 3,000 UN employees are based in New York, AFP reported.
A Philippine diplomat this week tested positive for the new coronavirus in the first recorded case at UN headquarters.
Many organizations and companies around the world have sent staff home to try to reduce the spread of the virus.