New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday suggested that the state should consider slowing down the Big Apple’s reopening, placing him once again at odds with embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Earlier this March, Cuomo issued a directive allowing for New York City indoor dining capacity to be expanded to 50 percent. On Monday, the city’s gym classes were allowed to reopen at a 33 percent capacity.
“It’s time to reassess for sure. A good example is with indoor dining,” de Blasio said during a press conference. “In the city now, getting up to 50% — certainly we gotta stop there. That would be my strong view while we see what happens with these variants and the overall situation.”
De Blasio cited a surge in coronavirus variants in New York City as his cause for additional caution.
“One of the reasons we see the very high plateau, or very slow decline here in New York, is due to these variants,” Dr. Jay Varma, de Blasio’s senior public health advisor, said Monday. “There is some indication that some variants respond a little less effectively to vaccination, but they still appear to be effective enough.”
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“Obviously we had a real disagreement with the state on the fitness classes,” the mayor added. “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’s remark followed New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) announcement that he plans to lift coronavirus restrictions slower than previously planned.
“My guess is we won’t be opening up further capacities for some time now … because of the caseload,” Murphy told CNN. “We are back to leading the nation in the spread of this virus.”
As of Sunday, New Jersey’s seven-day average of fresh cases stands at 3,329, which is an increase of 8 percent from a week ago and 29 percent from roughly 30 days ago.
The Garden State expanded its indoor dining capacity to 50 percent from 35 percent last week.
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