NYC to fully reopen by July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio announces

"We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength,” de Blasio said.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has shared his plan to have the city fully reopen by July 1st after the coronavirus pandemic shifted day-to-day routine.

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“Our plan is to fully open New York City on July 1st. We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength,” de Blasio said in announcing the date on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday.

“What we’re seeing is that people have gotten vaccinated at extraordinary numbers. 6.3 million vaccinations in New York City to date,” de Blasio said. “ We know the vaccination effort is going to grow and grow. We gotta keep working hard at that. What’s amazing is every single day, we’re beating back COVID more and more. Hospitilizations are down. we’re seeing a better situation every day. We’re ready to take that pathway to a full reopening.”

Bill de Blasio thegrio.com
(Credit: Morning Joe/screenshot)

He added, “Right now, we are below most of the thresholds that we had set to show that this city could continue to come back strong. We are going to keep driving down COVID with vaccinations. We do have work to do, I want to emphasize, anyone who likes what I’m saying, help us out by going out and getting vaccinated if you haven’t already.”

He specified the full reopening would include people using “all of the basics,” including wearing masks indoors and strict washing of hands.

“This is going to be the summer of New York City. I think people are going to flock to New York City because they want to live again.”

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Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed a slightly different timeline he hoped to implement on the Big Apple’s course to reopening fully. According to NBC New York, he hopes the city can open sooner than de Blasio’s July 1st projection.

“I think they’re irresponsible,” Cuomo said, reiterating decisions on state pandemic restrictions were his call. “July 1 – you have May, June, what happens in May, what happens in June? I’d like to get the hopeful reopening date before that. I don’t want to wait that long. I think if we do what we have to do we can reopen earlier.”

Gov. Cuomo added, “what does reopening mean? Reopening means, literally, everything back to normal.”

New York thegrio.com
Buildings are seen in lower Manhattan on April 16, 2021 in New York City. As thousands of New Yorkers continue to work from home, with many vowing to never return to an office, debate is growing about repurposing office space for retail and residential use. As of March of this year, over 17 percent of Manhattan’s office space was vacant or about to become so. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

theGrio reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

And those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some situations, too. The new guidance represents another carefully calibrated step on the road back to normal from the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 570,000 people in the U.S.

For most of the past year, the CDC had been advising Americans to wear masks outdoors if they are within 6 feet of one another.

“Today, I hope, is a day when we can take another step back to the normalcy of before,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time telling Americans what you can’t do. Today, I am going to tell you some of the things you can do, if you are fully vaccinated.”

The CDC says that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike or run alone or with members of their household. They can also go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.

But from there, the CDC has differing guidance for people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not.

Unvaccinated people — defined by the CDC as those who have yet to receive both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson formula — should wear masks at outdoor gatherings that include other unvaccinated people. They also should keep using masks at outdoor restaurants.

This article contains additional reporting by theGrio’s Associated Press.

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