New York City Phase 1 reopening could mean 400,00 workers returning to jobs

New York City finally reopened Monday, June 8 as some stores around the neighborhood returned to a sort of normalcy since the city went into lockdown nearly three months ago.

“We’re back,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, according to NBC News. “Our mojo is back.”

More than 200,000 positive COVID-19 cases appeared in the Big Apple, according to NYC Health, resulting in 17,146 confirmed deaths in the city since the first positive case was confirmed exactly 100 days ago.

The New York Times reported as many as 400,000 workers could begin returning to jobs, which center on construction, manufacturing, and retail stores during the city’s first reopening phase. Social distancing measures will continue, but retail stores can begin curbside and in-store pickup, which means browsing through stores remains on hold.

“New York City’s restart begins today,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Monday morning. “It’s been a long road to get here. New Yorkers have earned it day by day. Keep up what works: face coverings and social distancing are as important as ever.”

The city had to meet seven metrics in order to reopen. The nine other parts of the New York state region also had to meet those metrics before resuming business. The next step is phase two, which allows stores, offices and hair salons to open, but with limited occupancy. Malls, bar service, concerts, gyms, movie theaters, and other places of public amusement won’t reopen during phase two.

Multiple outlets reported the city lost more than 885,000 jobs due to the pandemic and a $9 billion budget shortfall over the next year.

“In short, New York City is facing nearly unprecedented challenges as it struggles to maintain budget balance, protect vital services, and provide a safe and healthy environment for individuals who want to live, work, or visit here,” the New York City Independent Budget Office said.