De Blasio: NYC 'On Track' To Enter Phase 3 As Early As July 6

By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City is “on track” to enter Phase 3 of its reopening as soon as July 6.

“Phase 3 can start as early as Monday, July 6, and right now we are on track for Phase 3,” de Blasio said. “That’s exciting that we keep making progress.”

The mayor said Phase 3 allows the reopening of outdoor recreational areas, including basketball, tennis, volleyball, dog runs, handball and bocce.

De Blasio said there will be ambassadors and civilians out providing free face coverings and urging social distancing as the activities begin again.

“The data is telling us ‘yes’ right now, so we want to start getting people ready for it,” de Blasio said.

Under state guidelines, indoor dining at 50 percent capacity and personal care services like nail salons are also permitted under Phase 3 with restrictions. Find out more about what Phase 3 allows.

"There's a lot of other things that will happen in Phase 3, including the beginning of partial indoor dining," de Blasio said, adding that he would have more information on Friday about businesses that can reopen.

Earlier this week, the city entered Phase 2, which allowed the reopening of offices, in-store retail and outdoor dining, as well as barbers and beauty parlors, among other businesses.

Every other region of the state—including Long Island and the Hudson Valley—has reached Phase 3. Five Upstate regions—the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Central New York—are expected to enter Phase 4 on Friday.

Asked if the city's reopening could lead to a rise in cases that would impact its move to Phase 3, de Blasio said "none of us is falsely confident here" but that the data hasn't shown a significant uptick in cases since the city entered Phase 1 earlier this month.

"We've seen almost no—thank God, knocking on wood—almost no impact on our indicators," de Blasio said. "Right now, the data keeps saying that we’re doing right, but I think the important part is to constantly provide education, to constantly provide the free face coverings, to keep people tight and disciplined, because we’re not out of the woods."

The mayor said three key indicators tracking the coronavirus in the city were all positive on Tuesday (there is a two-day lag in the data).

The daily number of people admitted to hospitals with suspected COVID-19 on Tuesday was 60, below the 200 threshold set by the city.

The daily number of people in intensive care at public hospitals with suspected COVID-19 on Tuesday was 329, also below the threshold of 375.

And the number of people tested who were positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday was 2 percent, below the threshold of 15 percent.

Earlier on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that total hospitalizations in New York state had dropped below 1,000 for the first time since mid-March.

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