NEW YORK (Reuters) – Exactly 100 days after the primary coronavirus case was confirmed in New York City, some staff started returning to jobs on Monday at first of reopening from a citywide shutdown to battle the epidemic that killed practically 22,000 of its residents.
People who had been staying house for months boarded subways and buses as essentially the most populous U.S. metropolis started Phase One of its hopeful journey towards financial restoration.
“This is clearly the hardest place in America to get to this moment because we’re the epicenter,” Mayor Bill de Blasio instructed a information convention on the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
New York, by far the hardest-hit U.S. metropolis, on Monday reported the rate of individuals testing constructive for the coronavirus fell to a brand new low of three%, effectively under its threshold for reopening of 15%, de Blasio mentioned.
As some 400,000 staff head again to 32,000 building websites, wholesale and manufacturing facilities and a few retail websites throughout the town, de Blasio urged them to put on face masks and use social distancing to maintain COVID-19 instances on a downward pattern – notably those that use mass transit to get to work.
Subway rider Jim Duke, who commutes from the New York suburb of Putnam County, mentioned usually packed trains had few sufficient riders to accommodate social distancing from different commuters.
“There’s not a lot of people on there, so it’s fairly easy. So far,” mentioned Duke, sporting a face masks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo famous that the remainder of the state had already entered the identical reopening part with out a bounce in infections, largely due to restrictions that restrict eating places to serving company solely open air and retailers to creating solely curbside gross sales.
“If we follow those guidelines in New York City, there should not be a spike, just like there hasn’t been a spike across the rest of the state,” Cuomo mentioned.
De Blasio mentioned the town is opening 20 miles (32 km) of latest bus routes and new bus lanes from June by way of October to extend spacing between mass transit passengers.
The mayor mentioned he was cautiously monitoring the virus’ unfold after 1000’s of protesters – many with out masks – swarmed New York streets for each day marches in opposition to racism following the May 25 dying of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, to make sure reopening can proceed and ultimately convey clients again to hair salons, eating places and different companies.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Gabriella Borter; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Alistair Bell