NEW YORK, NY – New York City officially began Phase 1 of reopening today after more than 80 days of lockdown.
In his daily COVID-19 briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio explained what Phase 1 entails, and the impact it will have on the citizens of New York. Starting on Monday, construction sites and manufacturers may re-open and curbside pick-up will be available from retailers. De Blasio reports that these changes will allow approximately 400,000 New Yorkers to return to work.
To prepare for Phase 1, the MTA has taken additional steps to protect riders using the city’s public transportation system. Sally Librera, the Senior Vice President for Subways, reported that the MTA will disinfect its stations twice a day to reduce the spread of coronavirus. She also stated that workers have placed social distancing reminders and hand sanitizer at the subway station on 96th Street, and the company will provide 2 million masks for its riders.
Librera understands that maintaining social distancing on public transportation will be difficult, especially during rush hour. However, she believes these reminders will help riders think about their distance from others and encourage more people to wear face masks. A recent survey indicated that 92% of subway riders are wearing required face masks, but officials hope that during Phase 1 this number will increase to 100%.
Although Phase 1 marks a significant step forward in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, many business owners in New York believe that this is step is not enough. Many restaurant owners have expressed their frustration that they are not allowed to re-open during Phase 1. De Blasio stated that Phase 2—which re-opens outdoor dining—may not begin until early July.
If you or someone you love has contracted COVID-19, as a result of Phase 1 reopening, contact the New York COVID-19 attorneys at Finz & Finz P.C., today.