Coronavirus News: When will NYC loosen social distancing restrictions?

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill De Blasio said New York City needs continued social distancing plus more conoravirus testing capacity to reach a point where the loosening of restrictions could be considered.

"If we really work hard we have a chance of seeing change in May or June," de Blasio said at a City Hall briefing.

However, the mayor cautioned that we are "many months" away from returning to anything close to normal.

"We want the maximum number of people working from home for a long time. That's something that is unlikely to change based on what we know now for a long time," de Blasio said."There may be some other things where we can loosen up a bit, but with real social distancing and real clear boundaries because we cannot risk resurgence."

Most New Yorkers are adhering to health guidelines banning public gatherings but anyone who sees someone flouting the rules should report it through the city's 311 call system, de Blasio said.

"Don't be angry, just pick on the phone," he said. "Act on it."

Starting Monday, the city will release ongoing data on three key virus indicators: the number of people admitted to hospitals and suspected of having COVID-19, the number of hospitalizations for the disease and the number of intensive care unit admissions for the disease, de Blasio said. All three numbers would have to go down in unison for 10 days to two weeks before the city could consider loosening social distancing restrictions, he said.

But in order to contemplate returning to anything approaching normalcy, he said, the city would also need to be able to test more people for the virus.

"We need some greater capacity," he said. "I think the federal government is still the most important part of this equation when it comes to testing."


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