Phase Three of reopening expected by early July: Mayor

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New York City is on track for Phase Three of reopening in early July, the mayor said Thursday.
Photo by Todd Maisel

New York City is on track to enter Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan by July 6, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. 

As part of Phase Three, nail salons, spas, tanning salons, and massage parlors can open, and indoor dining is allowed as long as restaurants maintain 50 percent capacity with tables and bar seats set six feet apart. Some sports may also resume during the state’s third phase.

Courts and fields for volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, handball, and bocce along with dog runs will also open if the city reaches Phase Three within the next two weeks, de Blasio said.

“We are going to be working closely with the state of New York to make the final decision as we get closer to but since it’s all about the data, the data is telling us yes right now so we want to start getting people ready for it,” Hizzoner said during a press conference.

The city will issue more guidance for businesses set to reopen in Phase Three beginning Friday, June 26, the mayor added. On Monday, the city entered Phase Two of reopening. Between 150,000 to 300,000 people returned to the workforce as playgrounds, hair salons and barbershops opened and many restaurants began offering outdoor dining.

As the city reopens, de Blasio said, COVID-19 cases continue to stay level citywide.

Public hospital admissions for suspected COVID-19 cases dropped to 60 on June 23, according to the mayor’s office, and the percentage of New Yorkers testing positive for the virus remains at 2 percent, well below the city’s emergency threshold.

The number of New York City residents admitted to intensive care units at public hospitals for coronavirus related complications increased slightly to 329 on June 23. The city’s designated threshold for ICU admittance numbers floats at just under 400. 

On June 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted, New York State reached a new milestone.

Cuomo said total hospitals statewide fell to 996 Thursday — dropping below 1,000 for the first time since March 18 – and, of 67,642 tests performed Wednesday, just 749 — or 1.1 percent — came back positive.

“What has helped us push back this disease is, well it’s the first thing we have talked about since day one, testing, testing, testing,” said de Blasio. 

De Blasio also announced that SOMOS Community Care will launch 50 new testing sites and that CORE, a nonprofit founded by actor Sean Penn to provide disaster relief after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, will send out mobile testing units beginning next week. 

New York remains one of the few places in America not dealing with a COVID-19 spike at the present time. On June 24, 45,557 new infections were reported across the country, according to a report from NBC News, breaking the previous record set on April 24 by almost 9,000. 

The spike has mostly affected southern and western states with Arizona, Mississippi, California, Nevada, and Texas reporting single-day records of new cases on Tuesday. 

Despite the nationwide uptick, de Blasio said that the city would forge ahead and hope for the best. 

“I’ve been very cautious. I’ve been very pleased with the fact that [during] Phase One, hundreds of thousands of people came back to work and we’ve seen almost no, knocking on wood, impact on our indicators,” de Blasio told reporters.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com