After recording its first day without a Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related deaths to meet all seven of the Governor’s health-based benchmarks, New York City is now set to see Phase One of business reopenings. Over the last few months, the city has unfortunately stood as the heart of the pandemic in the United States. Mayor Bill de Blasio took to Twitter to note that the city will resume early stages of resumption under social distancing guidelines June 8 along with the caption “we didn’t just flatten the curve — we crushed it.”
Phase One of business reopenings will see roughly 32,000 shuttered construction sites start back up, followed by the return of wholesale, manufacturing, agriculture, and retail businesses at a limited capacity. The social distancing guidelines will require businesses to run at 50 percent occupancy with employees practicing six feet distance, while in-person meetings will be limited and only occur in well-ventilated areas with appropriate distances upheld. All business will also be required to provide protective equipment for employees, hold daily healthcare screenings and put up signs to promote awareness. As many return to work, the MTA will be returning to regular service June 8 but require all passengers to wear some form of face covering.
According to mayor de Blasio, “[These businesses] were chosen because you can create physical separation. That’s a lot of employees coming back to work … we want to emphasize safety throughout. We say ‘restart’ — we do not mean rushing back to something we used to think of as normal. We do not mean flicking a switch and suddenly everything is where it was again. We have to make sure this virus is in check. We’ve come a long way, not going to blow it now.”
Following Phase One in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s four-phase “NYC Forward” reopening initiative, office jobs, hair salons, gyms, and restaurants with outdoor dining will look to restart as part of Phase Two, likely sometime in July.
Despite the optimism tied to business reopenings, City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot reminds people to remain vigilant. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild as a city, we need all New Yorkers to continue taking public health measures to protect each other’s health. The precautions are in place to keep workers safe, and the health of our city depends on them being followed.”
We did the impossible.
On Monday NYC will open phase one.
We didn’t just flatten the curve — we crushed it. #NYTough
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 6, 2020
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