New York City Begins Reopening: Here’s What Each Phase of Reopening Looks Like

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MTA New York City Transit

Marc A. Hermann | Flickr

Jahlil Rush

New York City started the phase one of reopening on June 8, after living under the three-month restrictions of the PAUSE order implemented by Gov. Andrew Cuomo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today we are turning the page on the COVID-19 virus as we reopen New York City. We didn’t just flatten the curve, we bent it, and we did it all based on data and facts,” said Gov. Cuomo said in the June 8 coronavirus update.

During phase one, 400,000 are expected to return to work, with the majority of that number returning to the city’s infrastructure job circuit. Essential construction projects continued to operate throughout the stay at home order, and now 33,000 construction sites will reopen and resume their projects with phase one.

Phase one also includes transportation, as alternate side parking regulations are suspended through June 21.MTA subway service returns to normal as well, with an exception to the overnight schedule as MTA shuts down subways from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for cleaning.

Phase will be the next step in the NYC reopening saga, which is set to begin on June 22, but could be delayed according to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are not like the other regions of the state,” said de Blasio. The mayor warned that the city might have to wait until July to introduce the next phase.

Phase two of the reopening plan comprises dining, limited retail-shopping and few other factors. Phase two will also grant permission for office jobs to continue as well as outdoor dining, places of worship at a 25%capacity and storefront retail stores. Malls, event spaces, gyms and movie theaters will remain close for the time being.

Susan Hassig, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Tulane University school of Public health, described outdoor dining as “relatively low-risk.”

“Dining outdoors at a restaurant is a relatively low-risk activity as long as tables are kept at least six feet apart. Being outside allows air to flow more freely,” said Hassig.

The city revealed specific guidelines for restaurants to use to ensure social distancing while still operating at a safe capacity.

New York City was the last section of the state to reopen after the city met all seven health-related metrics, which included hospitalization and a decrease in COVID-19 related deaths.. Most of upstate New York has entered the second phase of reopening which means more stores, offices and hair salons resume operations with restrictions.

With the plans of reopening the most of the state becoming more realistic,Cuomo warned New York City of a possible second shutdown as New Yorkers were seen gathered in large crowds over the weekend, ignoring social distancing guidelines.