New York City Begins Reopening, 400,000 Expected To Return To Work

(Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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After becoming the country’s epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, New York City began reopening Monday, allowing nearly 400,000 people to begin returning to work, NBC News reported.

Construction and manufacturing workers were able to resume working, and retail stores were able to set up curbside or in-store pickup Monday after nearly 80 days of stay-at-home orders, according to NBC News

“It’s been a long road to get here. New Yorkers have earned it day by day,” Mayor Bill De Blasio tweeted Monday. (RELATED: De Blasio Met With Harsh Boos At George Floyd Vigil)

The virus claimed nearly 22,000 lives in the city, a death toll larger than all but 6 countries, according to CNN.

Hair salons, offices and indoor seating at bars and restaurant are not expected to reopen until the next phase.

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo required the city to ramp up its local contact tracing program and coronavirus testing in order to reopen.

Although cases have declined in the city, Cuomo expressed concern over the likelihood that the protests over the death of George Floyd may cause a spike in cases.

Sunday marked the 11th day of protests in New York City, and De Blasio implemented a citywide curfew after a spree of looting and violent rioting.

“We are concerned that those protests may have increased the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said during a news conference Sunday according to NPR.  He also added that public health experts share his concern.