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.
City and state officials have estimated between 200,000 and 400,000 New Yorkers will return to the workforce during this first phase.
“Life is not about going back. Nobody goes back. We go forward. And it’s going to be different,” Cuomo said. “This is about reopening to a new normal — a safer normal. People will be wearing masks and people will be socially distanced — it’s a new way of interacting, which is what we have to do. Wear a mask, get tested, and socially distance.”
As 6sqft reported on Thursday, New York City is the only region in the state to not yet meet the metrics required to start reopening, which includes a consistent decline in net hospitalizations, deaths, the total share of hospital beds and share of ICU beds, and testing and tracing capacity.
According to the state’s regional dashboard, the city does not have enough hospital beds or contact tracers, as of Wednesday. But on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the Test and Trace Corps will launch on June 1, helping meet the goal of 30 tracers for every 100,000 residents.
“The X-factor here as we start to reopen is that strong test and trace effort,” de Blasio said on Thursday. “It’s going to hit the ground running in a very, very big way. And from everything I’m seeing, it’s ready to make a huge impact in this city.”
Cuomo on Friday also announced five regions can now enter phase two of reopening, which involves finance, insurance, real estate and rental leasing, administrative industries, as well as hair salons and barber shops, under strict guidelines. Starting Friday, the regions that can reopen include North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, and Southern Tier.
Under the state’s four-phased “Forward” plan, the third phase allows restaurants and food services to reopen, as well as hotels and accommodations. The fourth and final phase will see the reopening of arts, entertainment, recreation, and education.
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