Reopening New York City

When will the city open back up?

Image of author Selwyn
13. May 2020
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With the summer season inching closer, shelter in place fatigue is kicking in for some. With the reopening deadline starting on May 15, certain regions in New York state can slowly start opening the first out of four phases. These regions are most likely up-state as each one needs to hit the 7 criteria to begin re-opening. This article is a brief rundown on the state of the reopening of New York City.

New York City – Reopening the economy

Phase 4 of reopening

The May 15th “PAUSE” order in NYC hasn’t been extended, but the Emergency Order has. Like previously mentioned, regions that have met the seven criteria are allowed to start reopening. Because the coronavirus cases and deaths are still pretty high in NYC, it’s looking like the city won’t start phase one until the middle of June. The four phases in reopening will start with allowing construction, manufacturing, and supply chains to open up. This can also include curbside retail as well.

The second phase will allow retailers, professional services, finance and insurance, real estate, and more to open.

Phase three will set its sights on the hospitality industry such as hotels, restaurants, and dine-in services.

Phase four will be the final part of the reopening plan. This allows schools, fine arts, and entertainment to reopen. This includes museums and sporting events. Each phase will be assessed every two weeks to see if there has been an improvement or not.

When can New York City reopen?

Certain regions are only allowed to reopen their economy if they meet seven criteria. The criteria are:

  1. Decline in Total Hospitalizations. Regions need to show a sustained decline in the three-day rolling average of total net hospitalizations (the total number of people in the hospital each day) over the course of a 14-day period. Also, regions can satisfy this metric if the daily net increase in total hospitalizations (measured on a 3-day rolling average) has never exceeded 15.
  2. Their needs to be a decline in deaths. Regions must prove a sustained decline in the three-day rolling average of daily hospital deaths over the course of a 14-day period. Alternatively, regions can satisfy this metric if the three-day rolling average of daily new hospital deaths has never exceeded 5.
  3. New Hospitalizations. Hospitals need to show 2 new hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, measured on a three-day rolling average. New hospitalizations include both new admissions and prior admissions subsequently confirmed as positive COVID cases.
  4. Hospital Bed Capacity. Regions must have at least 30% of their hospital beds available.
  5. ICU Bed Capacity. Regions must have at least 30% of their ICU beds available.
  6. Diagnostic Testing Capacity. Average daily diagnostic testing over the past 7 days must be sufficient to conduct 30 tests per 1,000 residents per month.
  7. Contact Trancing Capacity. The amount of contact tracers in each region must meet the thresholds set by the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and Vital Strategies.

As of May 11, New York City meets 4 out of the 7 criteria.

Are NYC parks open?

Bryant Park

New York City parks will be open in order to promote social distancing. As a matter of fact, some parks have always been open during “shelter-in-place” orders. However, there are a few caveats. People must do their best to stay 6 feet away from each other and if you can’t, masks are required to be worn. If you don’t have a mask, officers will be handing them out for free. If you don’t follow social distancing measures, you can be given a warning and there have been some arrests made already.

NYC Street Closures

During the pandemic and part of promoting spacing, New York City announced that they will be closing 100 miles worth of streets. These streets include areas within and around parks. As of May 1, 2020, The city closed the first seven miles of streets. Please visit the NYC parks website for more information since this is constantly changing.

What is the MTA doing about Coronavirus?

MTA shutdown

Public transportation is down about 97 percent right now because of COVID-19. As of right now, the MTA will be shutting down service from 1 AM-5 AM every night to disinfect the trains. They are also trying to figure out ways to practice social distancing which will obviously be a challenge since millions of New Yorkers rely on the MTA.

Will we be required to wear masks?

Masks will be required to be worn when you can’t separate yourself from people by at least 6 feet. This is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 where about 1 in 4 New Yorkers in NYC has tested positive for antibodies. Officers will be handing out free masks in parks as well. Also, retailers have been telling their customers to wear masks or they cannot come into the store.

This will be updated regularly as more information is provided. Life in New York City after coronavirus will definitely change for a while.

About the author

Being a photographer and creative in general, New York City, I think is the perfect place to be. I moved to NYC from Boston in 2013 and never looked back. Loving New York has given me the opportunity to do what I love and share those images with you all.

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