New York City is gearing up to begin the reopening process the week of June 8, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday. During a press briefing, the governor said the city should be able to join the state’s nine other regions in reopening phase one businesses, which includes all construction, manufacturing, and some retail stores. “I am proud of the way New York is figuring it out,” Cuomo said.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
New York City will likely begin the reopening process early next month, with as many as 400,000 employees expected to return to work during this first phase, Mayor Bill de Blasio said this week. While the mayor on Thursday released guidelines for phase one businesses to safely reopen without a resurgence of the coronavirus, no plan has been issued from City Hall on how employees returning to the workforce will commute there safely.
Screenshot from the State’s new Regional Monitoring Dashboard as of 5/28/20
After the New York PAUSE order was put into effect on March 22, all but one of the state’s 10 regions have met the metrics to start phase one of reopening since it expired on Friday, May 15. As outlined on an interactive dashboard that monitors regional status, New York City is the only region not to have hit this benchmark. The city has not reached a 30 percent threshold of the share of total hospital beds available and has not gotten its contact tracing program up to the required level. As 6sqft reported, phase one allows construction, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and select retail that can offer curbside pickup to reopen.
A yoga class at Pier A from a previous Fitness in the Park class
Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla signed an executive order yesterday that permits fitness clubs to “utilize certain City fields and parks in order to facilitate safe, socially distanced outdoor workouts.” Because of reopening measures outlined by Governor Murphy that will reduce capacity at indoor gyms and fitness facilities, Mayor Bhalla is encouraging owners of such businesses licensed in Hoboken to apply to host outdoor classes of up to 15 people with “strict social distancing guidelines of at least six feet between each participant at all times.” With the permission of property owners, gyms can also hold outdoor classes in parking lots.
The New York City Council is set to introduce legislation on Thursday that requires the city to use open space for outdoor dining during the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants and bars have now been closed for in-person service for over two months because of the state’s “pause” order that shuttered all nonessential businesses. And while takeout and delivery options remain available, the restaurant industry has taken a tremendous hit, with many longtime restaurants forced to close permanently.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is boosting service on the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North as two more New York regions are officially cleared to start reopening. The Hudson Vallery region and Long Island have met the state’s metrics to begin reopening phase one businesses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week. Starting Wednesday, the MTA will increase capacity by 26 percent on Metro-North with 18 additional trains during peak service, as well as add 105 Long Island Railroad cars to meet restored demand for service.
Rendering of a new entrance on 8th Avenue to Penn Station, part of the Empire Station Complex via Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office
The state will focus on restarting New York City’s economy by accelerating work on major infrastructure projects, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday. “There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said during a press briefing. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and its infrastructure.” The governor said the state will fast-track infrastructure projects like the renovation and rebuild of Penn Station and LaGuardia Airport.
After a photo of a jam-packed Hudson River Park filled with non-mask-wearers went viral earlier this month, Governor Cuomo launched a new competition that asked New Yorkers to submit videos that show why it is so important to wear a mask in public. After receiving more than 600 submissions, the state narrowed it down to five finalists last week. And today, after 186,117 votes were counted, the winning video was announced, titled “We <3 New York.”
Photo of Rockaway Beach via Dan DeLuca on Flickr
The New York City Council on Saturday urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to open the city beaches this summer safely amid the coronavirus pandemic, including allowing swimming. Currently, swimming is not permitted, but local residents are allowed to walk or sit on the beach. A number of council members this weekend released 10-point beach reopening guidelines, which include limited capacity, social distancing markers, mask requirements, and increasing transit options to beach communities.
Photo: Louise Ma / WNYC via Flickr Creative Commmons
When the state closed all restaurants and bars in March except for takeout service, the New York State Liquor Authority legalized to-go alcoholic beverages, including wine and liquor, for the first time. A state official wants to make the temporary law change permanent. State Sen. Brad Hoylman on Thursday introduced legislation that would let bars and restaurants continue to serve wine, beer, and cocktails for take-out and delivery for at least two years after the state of emergency ends.