New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York City can start reopening on June 8 as one of the most dramatic global hubs of the COVID-19 pandemic nears the parameters the state established for entering Phase I.
The city has been on lockdown since March as the virus spread rapidly and the hospital and health care workers were tested. Over 20,000 people have died and 200,000 been infected. The city still does not have quite enough hospital beds available (it needs 30%) or contact tracers in place under state guidelines but Governor Cuomo said it most likely would in a week’s time. It would allow for non-essential stores like clothing, furniture and electronics, to open for curbside pickup and a resumption of non-essential construction and manufacturing.
“Remember, reopening does not mean we are going back to the way things were,” Cuomo said today at a briefing, noting that everyone will be wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — on video with Cuomo — said that the first phase could put 200,000 to 400,000 New Yorkers back to work. The MTA has upped mass transit services.
Five other regions of the state, mostly upstate, have already began to reopen and are heading into a Phase II expansion around the same time. That would include offices, retail stores and hair salons, but not movie theaters, malls or restaurants.