NYC senior centers reopen for indoor activities

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
NYC senior centers reopen
EMBED <>More Videos

Senior centers are welcoming visitors back indoors Monday in New York City for the first time in more than 15 months, as the city reports its lowest-ever COVID infection rate, 0.59%

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Reopening milestones continue in the Tri-State area, with New York City senior centers welcoming visitors for indoor activities for the first time in more than 15 months.

The further loosening of restrictions comes as the city reports its lowest-ever COVID infection rate, 0.59%.

The Lenox Hill Senior Center on the Upper East Side is one of nearly 250 senior centers reopening in the city.

"I think senior centers should have opened earlier," said Democratic mayoral candidate Kathryn Garcia as she visited the site Monday morning. "Seniors have been incredibly isolated. There's a way to have done it safely, particularly as we got vaccines into arms and they need to be together. They need to see their friends. They need to get a hot meal."

State Senator Liz Kreuger agreed the centers should have opened sooner.

"Isolation can actually be the thing that kills you when you're older," she said. "Loneliness is an enormous stresser on every part of you."

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the reopening earlier this month.

When asked this morning why he didn't order them opened sooner, de Blasio said the decision was based on safety concerns for a vulnerable population which bore the brunt of coronavirus infections early on.

Raw Video: Mayor de Blasio explains that the tilming of NYC senior centers' reopening was "a 'safety first' decision for sure."

"Our health department was adamant that before we brought people back into small spaces with each other, it had to be very, very safe," de Blasio said. "We had to get it right. This was a 'safety first' decision for sure."

ALSO READ | Zero new COVID deaths in NYC, lowest positivity since start of testing

Marcus Solis has more on the promising new numbers, including zero new COVID deaths, as New York City emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the centers will not be checking attendees' vaccine status, employees are still going to enforce social distancing rules.

But the reopening of these community centers is a major step.

We are anticipating a possible major announcement from Governor Cuomo as the state reached the vaccination threshold to remove almost all restrictions Monday evening, according to the CDC's COVID tracker.

The governor said he would lift virtually all COVID restrictions once 70% of adults get their first vaccine dose.

Sixty-one percent of New York State residents are fully vaccinated.

ALSO READ: 'Oh my God, I'm in a whale's mouth': Lobster diver describes being swallowed by humpback

A lobster diver told WCVB about his near-death experience inside a humpback whale's mouth off Cape Cod.
national geographic covid newsletter sign up


Mask guidance in the Tri-State area

New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question