The mayor and the governor have been at odds repeatedly throughout the coronavirus pandemic | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
NEW YORK — New York City is on track to enter the second phase of its reopening on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, but Mayor Bill de Blasio is not so sure.
Cuomo announced the reopening — which will allow outdoor dining and shopping in stores, among other measures — during his daily briefing. Just an hour earlier de Blasio, who has predicted the city won’t enter the second phase until early July, said no decision has been made and officials are waiting for more public health data to come in.
“All the numbers are good,” Cuomo said. “New York is on track to move to Phase two on Monday.”
The city has been largely shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic since March, but entered the first phase of its reopening last week. Phase two will be a bigger test — with restaurants allowed to serve diners outdoors, retail stores welcoming shoppers, some office workers returning and hair salons back in business.
The mayor and the governor have been at odds repeatedly throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and they continued that tradition again Wednesday.
Under state guidelines, each phase must last at least two weeks, meaning Monday is the earliest day the city could enter the second phase. But de Blasio has repeatedly cast doubt on that date, saying that the city will not move until more data is in to ensure there is no spike in virus cases.
Cuomo showed no such hesitation.
“The same metrics we use in New York City are the same metrics we use in every region across the state. And they have all shown to be accurate and effective,” the governor said. “We don’t change the rules in New York City. We don’t change the rules in Long Island. It’s one set of rules for everyone, and they work everywhere in the state.”
De Blasio has been chastised by fellow elected officials for not providing a more detailed plan and timeline.
“We’re all mindful that we had a very unusual situation with the protests and we’re going to see, we believe, the fuller impact if any of the protests in terms of our health indicators around this weekend, maybe into the first few days of next week,” de Blasio said. “Also seeing the impact of phase one itself, obviously, which is much bigger than the protests, in the sense of several hundred thousand people each day going back to work everyday for the full work day.”
De Blasio says he is “very impressed” with the city’s numbers so far, but would continue to monitor them into the weekend to see if there are any spikes.
“I know the state’s concerned about that as well. So it’s a day-to-day discussion. We want to come to a decision with the state as quickly as possible,” de Blasio said. “There’s always the danger that things go the wrong direction. We’ll have to change what we’re doing. But so far, so good.”
City Hall was notified before Cuomo made his announcement, said de Blasio’s press secretary Freddi Goldstein.
“Right now Monday looks good, but we’re watching the health indicators very closely to make sure the decision is made smartly,” she said.
In the latest data, 55 patients entered hospitals for Covid-19 symptoms, and there were 333 people in ICUs at public hospitals. Two percent of coronavirus tests came back positive. Those numbers are all under the thresholds the city has set for a safe reopening.
There were 350 new cases of coronavirus reported in the five boroughs, according to state data.
The city plans to release more detailed guidelines Thursday for outdoor dining in the second phase. De Blasio has said he’ll allow restaurants to convert parking spots into space for tables.