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)
New York City’s restart begins today.
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.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) June 8, 2020
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.
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.
What’s happening in New York right now is just unconscionable. Looters roaming from store to store. This is not a protest. pic.twitter.com/9G2AENAChf
— Denny Burk (@DennyBurk) June 2, 2020
“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.