New York City finally has a date when it will begin reopening—June 8.
During Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefing on Friday, he and Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is on track to open on that date because only 5 percent of residents tested for the virus tested positive, which is so far the lowest daily rate yet.
Earlier this week, de Blasio said the city should meet all seven required criteria to reopen in the first half of June. That means a reduction in the rate of new hospitalizations to at least two per 100,000 residents a day, or about 170 a day in the city; a reduction in the hospital-bed vacancy rate; a reduction in the intensive-care bed vacancy rate; and having at least 30 working contact tracers per 100,000 residents among other improvements.
So far, NYC has met five of the seven.
"We'll get there for June 8th and June 8th we have to be smart again," Cuomo said on Friday. "This is not 'happy days are here again,' it's over; we have to be smart."
Of course, the reopening doesn't mean everything will immediately open back up—it just means phase one begins, which means employees of construction jobs, wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture and retail companies (with safety procedures in place) can go back to work.
With the return of Phase 1 businesses, anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 people will be returning to work at once, de Blasio said on Thursday. With that many people leaving isolation at once during a pandemic, companies will have rules to follow.
In the meantime, five regions in New York State (North Country, Finger Lakes, Central NY, Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier) are entering Phase 2 of reopening, which means malls, dine-in and on-premise restaurants, large event venues, gyms, movie theaters, amusement parks and salons will reopen.
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