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Long Island opens in 1st phase, NYC to wait till early June

New York: Following other parts of the state, Long Island began returning to work Wednesday after two months in lockdown.

Sales were slow. Employers, workers and customers had to adjust to the new normal in safety. But many businesses started to operate again for the first time since mid-March, as the state lifted restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The first phase of the reopening in Nassau and Suffolk included resuming low-risk businesses involved in construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade, as well as in-store pickup and fewer restrictions on curbside for retail. Agriculture, fishing, forestry and hunting were permitted again.

Masks, gloves and social distancing rules remained in effect for patrons and employees while retailers were required to limit occupancy to 50%. 

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the state’s focus will shift to help New York City prepare for a reopening.

Between 200,000 and 400,000 people in New York City are expected to return to work when the city starts to reopen beginning in the first half of June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. 

But there will be conditions, de Blasio said. Among them: One person in an elevator at a time. Occupancy in a work site capped at 50% of normal. Mandatory social distancing, delineated by markers. “A constant every check  on how employees are doing,” such as temperature checks.

Meanwhile, President Trump finally acknowledged on Twitter on Thursday that US Covid-19 toll had surpassed 100,000, calling it a “sad milestone”, and promptly proceeded to blame it on China, saying the coronavirus behind it was a “very bad gift from China”.

In another sad milestone, over 40 Million people in the country have by now filed jobless claims during the pandemic. 2.1 million new claims were filed last week.


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