NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York City is on track for Phase 1 reopening in a little more than a week.
“Reopening in New York City is more complicated, as we know. But we are on track to meet all the metrics,” Cuomo said, referring to the June 8 start date.
He said those metrics include having hospital capacity, personal protection equipment (PPE) supply, and testing and tracing.
Under Phase 1 for New York City, the industries allowed to come back include construction, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail operating with curbside or in-store pickups and drop-offs.
“Next week, hospitals, PPE, get that contact tracing up, MTA will finish their final preparations, but then hotspots, hotspots, hotspots,” Cuomo said.
He’s referring to neighborhoods, mainly in Brooklyn and the Bronx, still seeing a disproportionately higher rate of infection compared to the rest of the city.
The governor said that data shows which zip codes have the highest coronavirus concentrations and wants to focus on those “hotspots” over the next week.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio made a virtual appearance at the governor’s Friday briefing.
“We are now on the gateway to the next big step,” he said.
“We think all of this can be done by next week, and we would be on track to open the week afterwards,” Cuomo said.
The governor said this all depends on the public’s cooperation.
Phase 1 reopening in New York City should return some 200,000-400,000 people to work, Cuomo said.
“Reopening does not mean we’re going back to the way things were,” he said. “It’s reopening to a new normal.”
The governor wants employers to get creative, allowing for as many work-from-home opportunities as possible and more nontraditional work shifts.
“About staggering the work shifts, how big of a push on employers to stagger work shifts in offices?” CBS2’s Dave Carlin asked.
“Staggering hours, staggering days. The employers have been responsive. Also, the employees won’t come back otherwise,” Cuomo said.
Five regions in the state that had already been in Phase 1 can now move to Phase 2, the governor said. Those regions are the North Country, Mohawk Valley, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier.
Phase 2 reopens office-based jobs, real estate, barber shops, salons, and expanded retail.
“It’s 50% occupancy in office buildings, signage, markers, etc. No meetings without social distancing. Don’t share food and beverages,” Cuomo said.
Store owners can refuse service if customers are not wearing face coverings, the governor said.
Barber shops and hair salons will open by appointment only and employees will have to get tested every two weeks.
Statewide, there were only 152 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the governor said.
“What is the bottom of the curve? I don’t know. But we’re close,” Cuomo said.
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The mayor, meanwhile, vowed to get 2 million free face coverings to various employers to distribute to workers.
He also announced hotlines to help business owners get ready in time for June 8.