De Blasio gives details on phase 1 reopening

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability. City Hall. Thursday, May 28, 2020. (Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday gave details on what the city’s phase 1 reopening would look like which includes between 200,000 to 400,000 New Yorkers returning to work.

Under New York state guidelines, construction, manufacturing, wholesale suppliers, some non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen or restart during phase 1. New York City is the last region in the state to not begin phase 1 of reopening, which will start sometime in the first two weeks of June, according to de Blasio.

When the restart officially begins next month, those returning to work will be required to remain at least six feet apart as much as possible. Capacity at factories and stores alike will need to remain at 50 % with limits on the number of employees that can gather in one space for meetings limit one worker to confined spaces like elevators or cash registers.

Employers will also need to provide workers with personal protective equipment, ensure that shared surfaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected, implement temperature checks and other health screenings and post signage in the workplace reminding workers to adhere to phase 1 standards.

“When we say restart we do not mean rushing back to something that we used to think of as normal, we do not mean flicking a switch and suddenly everything is where it was again, of course not, we have to make sure that this virus remains in check,” said de Blasio during his daily novel coronavirus press conference at City Hall. “We’ve come a long way and we are not going to blow it now.”

As of May 25, 59 New Yorkers were admitted to the hospital suspected of having the novel coronavirus, 421 people were in intensive care units in the city’s public hospital system suffering from complications caused by the virus and only 6% of New Yorkers tested for the coronavirus tested positive.

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