New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York City is on track to enter Phase 2 of its reopening plan by Monday, June 22, a full two weeks after the city ended its lengthy shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuomo's optimism Wednesday was contrasted by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio's earlier refusal to set a date for the city's next step forward.
Thousands of New Yorkers crowded the streets in late-May and early-June to protest police brutality and racial bias. The city entered Phase 1 or its reopening on June 8, when an estimated 400,000 people returned to work in the city.
De Blasio suggested it prudent to delay a Phase 2 advancement until the effects of the abrupt surge in public gatherings are more well understood.
Despite the protests, the city has so far seen a steady decline in COVID-19 cases since May.
The novel coronavirus is believed to have an incubation period of up to two weeks, during which asymptomatic carriers of the virus can still transmit it to others. Asymptomatic transmission is a largely blamed for the virus's deadly worldwide impact.
De Blasio said he is working closely with Cuomo's office to determine when Phase 2 should begin. As protesters are encouraged to get tested and as the city ramps up its tracing efforts in at-risk neighborhoods, de Blasio says they should have more complete data on the impact of the protests within the next several days.
As of Wednesday, 1.2 percent of 29,053 people who tested for the virus in the city tested positive.
De Blasio announced that he tested negative after feeling under the weather on Monday.
New York City, one of the hardest-hit locations by the virus in the whole world, has lagged behind the rest of New York State, New Jersey and Connecticut in terms of its reopening.
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