New York City should be prepared for a full shutdown and start making plans to work remotely, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
”The governor said we should prepare for the possibility for a full shutdown, I agree with that,’ de Blasio said Monday. “We need to recognize that that may be coming, and we need to get ready for that now.”
De Blasio was responding to comments made by Governor Andrew Cuomo in a New York Times story. “You could be looking at the shutdown of New York City within a month,” Cuomo said in the article.
A shutdown would ultimately be a decision that comes from Cuomo, but “what’s increasingly clear is that all forms of restrictions are on the table,” de Blasio said. “At the current rate we’re going, you have to be ready now for a full shutdown, a pause like we had back at the end of the spring. That’s increasingly necessary to break the back of the second wave, to stop it from growing, taking lives, threatening our hospitals.”
De Blasio urged employees who don’t need to be going into a workplace to work remotely “as much as they could.” He said “The likelihood of more restrictions soon is high, so folks should begin making adjustments soon and work remotely if they can.” He couched a potential shutdown as shorter than the one New York experienced in the spring and said “we’re hopefully talking about weeks, but we’re preparing mentally and practically for that possibility.”
New York City’s COVID-19 indicators are all exceeding city-set thresholds. As of Dec. 12, 5.5% of tests were positive, up from below 5% at the end of November, based on a seven-day average.
The city’s rate of hospitalization has been climbing, to 2.73 per 100,000 residents a day as of Dec. 12 from less than 2 per 100,000 at the beginning of December. At the height of the outbreak, the city had an average of 13 new admissions per 100,000 residents per day.
Even with the climbing numbers, schools remain safe, the mayor said. New York City plans to move as many schools as possible to five days a week of in-person lessons, he said.
The city has opened 878 schools in the past week. Of those, 250 will be going to five days this week. That number will grow week by week, de Blasio said Monday at a virus briefing.
“You’re going to be seeing a lot more,” he said.
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.