Reopen News: Phase 1 in sight for New York City at last, 400,000 could head back to work

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City got some good news on Friday from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio: it's moving into Phase 1 on June 8.

The city has been waiting to meet all three of its required thresholds for hospitalizations, ICU patients, and the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19.

It has consistently been below the thresholds on hospitalizations and the percentage of people testing positive, but the number of people in the city's ICUs has been problematic.

On Friday, there were 391 people in the city's ICU beds, still above the required threshold of 375.

The governor and mayor felt confident that the city would meet that threshold by June 8.

"We have identified about 40 patients that actually can be cared for outside of ICUs in a different setting that will give them the care that they need," Mayor de Blasio said. "That will put us under that threshold."

So what happens on June 8? The city can begin operating again in the areas of construction, retail (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off), agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, manufacturing, wholesale trade.

As the city heads into the phase, with it will come some 400,000 people returning to work and taking mass transit.

"Trains can easily manage that. The guideline will also talk about recommending staggered hours, staggered start and stop times," Governor Cuomo said.

Over the course of the next week, the governor said that he will be focused on hot spot zip codes where there are a high amount of COVID-19 cases.

"The zip codes with twice the infection rate. They're driving the new cases," Cuomo said. "The hot spots, higher infection rate, higher hospitalization rate, higher death rate."


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