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New York should “reassess” and slow the rate at which it is reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday — shortly after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that his state would pump the brakes.
Though new coronavirus diagnoses have generally been on a downward trajectory statewide since mid-January, de Blasio has urged a slower opening to minimize risk of a potential backslide, particularly given the arrival of mutant strains in New York.
“I think it’s time to reassess for sure,” said Hizzoner, speaking during his daily press briefing.
“A good example is with indoor dining in the city now, getting up to 50 percent [capacity],” said de Blasio. “Certainly we’ve gotta stop there. That would be my strong view, while we see what happens with these variants and the overall situation.”
De Blasio has openly disagreed with some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent reopening decisions — including the resumption of indoor fitness classes at 33-percent capacity — and accused the governor of endangering New Yorkers’ lives to garner political capital amid his ongoing sexual-misconduct scandal.
“Obviously we had a real disagreement with the state on the fitness classes,” de Blasio said Monday. “Indoor dining is an example of something that — let’s stay at the level we’re at now and not have any further expansion until we get a lot more information about these variants and see how we do.”
De Blasio was responding to a question about Murphy’s decision to pause the Garden State’s reopening efforts given the threat of coronavirus variants and rising caseloads.
“We’re watching these variants very closely. The case numbers are clearly up,” Murphy said Monday on CNN’s “New Day” morning show. “My guess is we won’t be opening up further capacity for some time due to the current caseloads.”
Just last week, New Jersey expanded its indoor dining capacity allowance from 35 percent to 50 percent.
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