NEW YORK, NY – On Wednesday, New York City reported the lowest percentage of positive COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. This data reinforced the city’s decision to move forward with Phase 2 of reopening.
During a press conference on June 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that only 1% of people in New York City tested positive for coronavirus. He explained that the city’s decisive action to contain COVID-19 allowed New York City to “crush the curve,” according to ABC 7 NY.
In light of this recent data, Governor Cuomo stated that numerous retail locations and restaurants should prepare to reopen on Monday, June 22, as a part of Phase 2. Cuomo’s decision to enter Phase 2 will impact an estimated 5,000 restaurants and allow approximately 45,000 workers to return to their jobs.
These restaurants are still expected to enforce social distancing rules, and Governor Cuomo signed an executive order to allow the state to better enforce these regulations. If a restaurant or bar violates social distancing the government can close the establishment immediately, and the business will be at risk of losing their liquor license.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated that he agrees with the decision to move into Phase 2. He added that local playgrounds will reopen on Monday as a part of this next phase of city-wide reopening. However, team sports are still banned at this time.
Mayor de Blasio had initially expressed concern at the time frame for the city’s Phase 2 reopening. However, he now reports that the city is ready for this change.