Subways will roll all night and restaurants, shops and gyms will drop their capacity limits as New York sheds most the restrictions that have financially hobbled the city and its residents for more than year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Social distancing still must be maintained, Cuomo said. But starting May 17, subways will no longer close between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut will drop indoor capacity limits May 19.
“This is major reopening of economic and social activity,” Cuomo said.
Over 80,000 city workers returned to their offices today, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“City Hall is abuzz today. It’s a great feeling,” the mayor said. ” I have been at City Hall throughout the pandemic, as have many of my colleagues. But for the first time in, you know, a year-plus, we really have the spirit and the energy of this place back. And it’s a great feeling.”
New York City’s subway will begin rolling all night again and capacity restrictions for most types of businesses will end statewide in mid-May as COVID-19 infection rates continues to decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Also in the news:
►The Small Business Administration on Monday began accepting applications for grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Thousands of restaurants and bars decimated by the pandemic are eligible for $28.6 billion in grants.
►With the pandemic appearing to ebb, Hard Rock said it will spend $20 million in Atlantic City, N.J., to renovate hotel suites, open a Starbucks outlet, purchase new slot machines and tables games, add a new restaurant and upgrade its beachfront.
►Los Angeles County public health authorities reported no new COVID-19 deaths Sunday. Infections remain at their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 32.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 577,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Over 152.9 million cases and nearly 3.2 million deaths. More than 312.5 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. and 245.5 million have been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 104.7 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.
📘 What we’re reading: California is reopening again as the state’s coronavirus cases plummet. But critics say the “extreme measures” to fight the virus were too much.
President Joe Biden didn’t directly answer when asked Monday when the nation will reach herd immunity. After touting the progress that’s been made on vaccinations, Biden said there’s a dispute over what share of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. Rather than giving his opinion on that figure, Biden encouraged anyone who hasn’t received a shot to get one.
“I think, by the end of the summer, we’ll be in a very different position than we are now,” Biden said.
– Maureen Groppe
The United States is now averaging fewer than 50,000 new coronavirus cases per day, a level not seen since early October and a sign that the nation’s mass vaccination program is having an impact on the pandemic. In the week ending Sunday, the United States reported 344,463 cases. The daily average is down about 22,000 cases each day from a small peak seen three weeks ago. It’s down much further from the records set in January; the United States is now reporting as many cases in a week as it was getting every two days then.
Helping the cause: Almost 150 million Americans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and over 40% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated.
Globally, however, daily deaths and new cases remain at or near all-time highs, driven to a great extent by India’s well-documented struggles. And India’s reported data is generally viewed to be just a fraction of the true numbers across the nation of 1.4 billion people.
– Mike Stucka
Gov. Ron DeSantis, flanked by leaders of the Florida House and Senate, suspended local COVID emergency orders Monday and signed a proposal lawmakers approved last week that limits government’s ability to impose mask requirements and other social-distancing measure used to combat the coronavirus. The bill makes it more difficult for local governments to mandate measures such as mask wearing and makes permanent DeSantis’ executive order that prohibits “vaccine passports.”
DeSantis said those who say vaccine passports are necessary “are really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines, you don’t believe in the data, you don’t believe in science.”
– James Call, USA TODAY Network