Coronavirus Updates: Fifth Avenue stores reopening; NYC urges testing, social distancing

New York News
NEW YORK (WABC) — A number of iconic stores along Fifth Avenue are planning to reopen Thursday. Saks Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan is one of those still boarded up, with guards still outside early Thursday morning.

But the 5th Avenue Association says iconic stores like Tiffany, Bergdorf Goodman and Louis Vuitton plan to reopen, although without any of the tourists who typically frequent those stores.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says it is essential for New Yorkers to continue to get tested and follow social distancing guidelines. And Long Island officially has entered Phase 2 of reopening.

The Fifth Avenue Association announced that a number of iconic stores along Fifth Avenue will be reopening Thursday. Shoppers are welcomed for curbside shopping and in-store pickup at the majority of the stores within the Fifth Avenue Association district (46th Street to 61st Street on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street from Sixth Avenue to Madison Avenue.)

– The Racial Inclusion and Equity Task Force unveiled the Restaurant Revitalization Program. It will spend $3 million to help support 100 restaurants in the 27 hardest coronavirus hit areas. Each would get $30,000 to give $20/per hour for six weeks to 1,000 employees. The restaurants must agree to pay workers $15/per hour on top of tips within 5 years if they accept the funds.

– NeOn Summer and Each One Teach One, and Community Crisis Response Initiative aim to help at-risk young people to help them over a period of 6-8 weeks to learn and engage over the summer. The mayor also announced Youth Town Halls.

– Mayor de Blasio said there would be a remote element for anyone not ready to send their children back to school, should schools go with “Plan A” which is in-person learning.

– The city remained below all three required thresholds for hospitalizations (69), ICU patients (337), and percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 (3%).

Phase 2 reopening began Wednesday, meaning outdoor dining and some retail stores are back open for the first time in weeks in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Additionally, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said public pools will reopen to residents only on July 3, just in time for the holiday weekend.

Daily testing results are now the most important metric to keep an eye on as New York State continues to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. The positive test rate across New York City was 1.5% on Tuesday, in Hudson Valley it was 1.2% and on Long Island it was 0.9%. Cuomo said the state is conducting about 50,000 tests for the coronavirus every day.

Meanwhile, nursing homes are asking New York regulators to ease up on a twice-weekly coronavirus testing mandate for their employees. Organizations that represent nursing homes sent a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Tuesday saying the state requirement creates financial and practical burdens that make it harder to provide quality care to residents. They want to reduce testing to once a week.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Wednesday talked about the importance of the state hiring more contact tracers. He said with no vaccine and therapeutics the only real protections against COVID-19 are social distancing, testing, and contact tracing. The state expects to have 4,000 contact tracers in place by August. There were 611 new positive cases for a total of 165,346. The RT is at 0.64, Governor Murphy noted it was amongst the lowest in the nation. 74 more people died from coronavirus for a total of 12,377.
– Large gatherings of 250 people are anticipated being permitted on June 22.

– Large gatherings of 500 are anticipated being allowed on July 3.

The University of Connecticut tentatively set Aug. 31 as the first day of classes, but President Thomas Katsouleas cautioned students and staff that it won’t be business as usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starbucks expects to lose more than $3 billion in revenue in its fiscal third quarter due to the new coronavirus. With many workers still at home and customer traffic patterns shifting, Starbucks said it’s accelerating a plan to build smaller, pickup-only locations in major U.S. cities. It’s also retrofitting some cafes to better accommodate mobile pickup and delivery orders.

Getting back to work is one of the main focuses as the New York City area begins to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. But 7 On Your Side Investigates found it could take some industries longer than others to bounce back.


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