Mayor de Blasio has revealed new ‘indicator thresholds’ for New York City‘s reopening, as he opens another 13 miles of streets over Memorial Day weekend and warns residents that fences will go up if they violate rules on beaches.
In a press conference Friday, the mayor unveiled a new system that will be used going forward to determine when the city can safely enter phase one of its reopening plan.
This uses the same three measures the city has been tracking of daily hospital admissions, the number of ICU patients and the proportion of people testing positive for coronavirus but they will be tracked in a different way.
Instead of looking for a 10 to 14 day decline in the numbers, the numbers must instead stay below certain thresholds.
Mayor de Blasio has revealed new ‘indicator thresholds’ for New York City’s reopening, as he opens another 13 miles of streets over Memorial Day weekend and warns residents that fences will go up if they violate rules on beaches
The new threshold for hospital admissions is 200, for ICU patients is 375 and for new cases is 15 percent.
The mayor did not clarify whether the numbers need to sit below the threshold indicators for a certain length of time before the city can enter its first phase of reopening, but said ‘everything is pointing to the first or second week in June to go into phase one’.
‘The threshold is simple. It’s the level we want to stay below and staying below those thresholds on a sustained basis is what makes clear to us that we are ready for more progress,’ he said.
‘So now we have three thresholds that we want to get below – we want to stay below them.
‘The day-to-day changes matter less – what matters more now is staying at a lower level,’ he added.
De Blasio said the city is already under the threshold in two of the three areas.
The number of hospitalizations stood at 76 Thursday and has been varying between 50 and 80 in recent days – considerably lower than the threshold of 200.
De Blasio unveiled the new threshold system which requires the city to sit below the following thresholds in order to reopen: new hospital admissions is 200, for ICU patients is 375 and for new cases is 15 percent
The daily proportion of New Yorkers testing positive for coronavirus has been under the 15 percent threshold for the last 10 days, the mayor confirmed, and stood at 11 percent Thursday.
However, the number of ICU patients is still too high, with de Blasio announcing there were 451 patients Thursday – higher than the threshold of 375.
ICU numbers includes non-COVID-19 patients as it is critical to measure whether hospitals can cope with the total capacity of patients once the city reopens.
New York needs to maintain the first two thresholds and bring down the number of ICU patients in the city’s hospitals before it can reopen safely, de Blasio said.
‘Two we’re there on, one we’re not there on but I think we will be there soon and then we have to hold it,’ he said.
Both De Blasio and New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo have said New York City is currently on track to start phase one of its reopening in the first or second week of June.
Jones Beach in New York Thursday. New York City beaches will be open for walking and sitting this weekend but swimming and large gatherings are not allowed
De Blasio said he hopes New Yorkers follow the rules as he warned that increased police presence and social distancing ambassadors will be cracking down on anyone not doing so. ‘We could put up fences and close the beaches entirely. But that’s not our goal,’ de Blasio said
Phase one involves reopening manufacturing and construction and retailers opening for curbside pick-up.
The mayor reinforced this plan Friday but, when pushed, said he could not provide any new details on how phase one will work.
‘If we keep doing this we will move to phase one in either the first or second week of June,’ he said.
‘I said it yesterday as clear as a bell and I’m saying it again today – that is where all the indicators are pointing.’
This came as de Blasio reinforced his pleas to New Yorkers to maintain social distancing guidelines over Memorial Day weekend.
The weekend is often a time of celebration, when New Yorkers would flock to the beaches and hold big parties.
‘We’re about to start a very important weekend, it takes on added meaning this year,’ de Blasio said Friday.
‘It’s a time to remember all the people who serve us now and have served us… But it is for all of us something very different, very immediate – it’s the unofficial start of summer.’
The mayor urged residents not to undo the progress the city has made in its fight against the pandemic by flouting social distancing and stay-at-home orders over the weekend.
‘Coronavirus is time limited but New York City is not time limited,’ he said.
‘Right now we have a very different reality and even going into this weekend we associate with the joy of summer, the freedom of summer – we’ve got to start our thinking with this simple thought: if you want freedom if you want to go back to those things we love, you cannot let your guard down. You can’t throw away all the progress we’ve made.
Another 13 miles of streets will be opened Saturday to expand the spaces for people to walk and take exercise while practising social distancing. Pictured is a map showing the expanded areas
‘We all have fought to get as far as we have in these last weeks – Memorial Day is a time to redouble our efforts and not lose our focus as we want to get to that better place… if we get a little too loose we’ll start to go backwards.’
New York City beaches will be open for walking and sitting this weekend but swimming and large gatherings are not allowed.
De Blasio said he hopes New Yorkers follow the rules as he warned that increased police presence and social distancing ambassadors will be cracking down on anyone not doing so.
‘No sports, no volleyball, no gatherings – we want to make sure that people understand what the beach is for today – you can walk on the beach, you can hang out on the beach but do it in a manner that is consistent with everything we’ve been talking about,’ he said.
‘I’m very hopeful that we’ll see people at beaches following the rules but if people need reminders there will be people educating and reminding.’
If people ignore the rules then stricter measures could be enforced he said.
‘We could put up fences and close the beaches entirely. But that’s not our goal,’ de Blasio said.
‘Our goal is to make it work with standards and to let people enjoy the beaches but in a different way.’
People walk in the open streets in Cobble Hill. The open streets expansion means there will be 45 miles of open streets in New York
The new streets are scattered all across the city including parts of Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Redhook and Hell’s Kitchen
There will be a heavier police presence across New York City over the weekend, with a 30 percent increase in NYPD officers at beaches to enforce the rules.
His comments came as Governor Cuomo said some state beaches are open to New York City residents to visit over Memorial Day weekend.
Cuomo said Friday that state beaches including Jones Beach, Hither Hills and Sunken Meadow will face ‘increased demand’ because they are open to NYC residents.
‘We do have state beaches open precisely for that reason,’ Cuomo said.
De Blasio also announced that 2,300 social distancing ambassadors – who are all voluntary City employees – will also be present in 230 of the city’s parks over the weekend to educate people and hand out face masks.
More than six million face masks have been distributed in the parks in recent weeks and de Blasio announced that the city is stepping this up, with the aim of handing out 12.5 million in total.
There will also be 50 city vehicles traveling New York making amplified announcements to remind people to social distance.
Another 13 miles of streets will be opened Saturday to expand the spaces for people to walk and take exercise while practising social distancing.
This expansion means there will be 45 miles of open streets in New York.
The new streets are scattered all across the city including parts of Williamsburg, Bay Ridge, Redhook and Hell’s Kitchen.
Source: dailymail US