All renderings courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office
A monument honoring the essential workers who served New Yorkers throughout the coronavirus pandemic will open in Battery Park City by Labor Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The “Circle of Heroes” memorial will include a circle of 19 maple trees, representing the individual groups of essential workers and their contributions. In the center, an eternal flame will honor those lost to COVID, according to the governor.
Find out more
Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash
Last week, Governor Cuomo announced that when New York hit a 70-percent vaccination rate among those 18+, he would lift reopening guidance across commercial and social settings. And as of today, the state has hit that milestone. In a celebratory press conference from the World Trade Center, the governor said, “We can now return to life as we know it.” To mark the occasion, there will be 10 fireworks displays across the state tonight, including one in New York Harbor.
Photo by Spurekar via Flickr cc
In April 2020, when New York City was truly the world epicenter for the coronavirus, Mayor de Blasio said that the city would hold a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes for health care workers, first responders, and essential workers as soon as things reopened. Fast forward 14 months, and this morning the mayor announced that the Hometown Heroes Parade will take place on Wednesday, July 7.
Photo by Daniel Tong on Unsplash
New Yorkers can expect almost all Covid restrictions to be lifted very soon. The state’s vaccination rate as of today is 68.6 percent; when it hits 70 percent, reopening guidance will be lifted across commercial and social settings. This includes capacity restrictions, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health screenings, and contact tracing information. Consistent with the CDC, current mask requirements will remain in place.
Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
New York City will open coronavirus vaccination sites at certain public schools as part of a pilot program aimed at increasing the number of young people who are vaccinated. The program will start at four schools in the Bronx on Friday with one school added each in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week. In the next few weeks, the city expects to expand the program.
Get the details
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Roughly a billion fewer passengers entered the New York City subway system in 2020 than in 2019, according to new data released this week by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The annual total ridership on the subway in 2019 was 1,697,787,002 passengers and 639,541,029 passengers in 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic hit last spring and Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential businesses to close, both city subway and bus ridership hit record lows. In April 2020, subway ridership hit just 8 percent of what it was in 2019.
Get the details
Rockaway Beach. Photo by Malaya Sadler on Unsplash
Just as it does every year, Memorial Day weekend will officially kick off beach season in New York City. But this year, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy the sun and get a Covid-19 vaccine. Mayor de Blasio announced today that starting this weekend, the city’s mobile vaccine buses will be stationed at Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Orchard Beach, and the Rockaways.
Photo courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
New York City public schools will not offer a remote option for students next school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday. Starting on the first day of school on September 13, all students and school staff will return to the buildings full-time. “This is going to be crucial for families,” de Blasio said during a press briefing. “So many parents are relieved, I know.”
Get more details
Photo by Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
After nearly a week of speculation, Governor Cuomo announced that the state of New York will adopt the CDC’s new mask and social distancing guidance for fully vaccinated people. Effective May 19, those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine will not have to wear masks or maintain a six-foot distance indoors. However, consistent with the CDC, everyone will still be required to wear a mask on public transportation, in nursing homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, schools, and health care facilities.
NYC Transit employees remove overnight closure signs. Courtesy of MTA on Flickr
New York City’s subway system resumed 24-hour service on Monday for the first time in over a year. Last May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed the subway overnight as part of a disinfection plan created in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time the trains closed overnight since the subway first opened 116 years ago. The return of 24/7 service this week comes just two days before most capacity restrictions in New York are lifted and as rates of COVID have fallen across the state.
Get the details