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UPDATE: De Blasio Says NYC Shutdown Could Begin After Christmas

“We have to be preparing ourselves mentally and practically” for the possibility of a shutdown, de Blasio said in a press conference

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio attends the opening of the Bank of America ‘Winter Village’ at Bryant Park on November 05, 2020 in New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Update: On Tuesday, the mayor suggested that a full NYC lockdown may be announced after Christmas. “I don’t say this with anything but sorrow, but I do think it is needed, we are going to need to do some kind of shutdown in the weeks ahead,” de Blasio said at his daily press conference. “If we implement that my nomination would be right after Christmas.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio warned on Monday that the city could be headed back towards a full lockdown, restricting NYC restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery only, in light of an ongoing uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“At the current rate that we are going, we have to be ready now for a full shutdown, a pause like we had back at the end of the spring,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Monday. “That is increasingly necessary to break the back of this second wave.”

On December 12, 185 patients were admitted to NYC hospitals for suspected COVID-19 complications, falling slightly below the city’s stated safety threshold of 200 new patients admitted per day. However, for multiple days last week, over 200 likely COVID-19 patients were admitted per day, and the seven-day average of COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people in NYC stood at 2.73 percent on Friday, crossing the city’s safety threshold of two percent. The mayor characterized the last week of hospitalizations as “a tough stretch” for the city.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the New York Times on Friday that “if you extrapolate out at this rate of growth, you could be looking at the shutdown of New York City within a month.” Over 5,400 people were hospitalized for COVID-19 in all of New York on Friday, according to state data.

In the Monday press conference, de Blasio called Cuomo’s statement in the Times “exactly right,” and said that the city was working closely with the state on determining further restrictions.

“I think there’s the likelihood of more restrictions quite soon,” de Blasio said. “Hopefully we’re only talking about restrictions for a matter of weeks. But we have to be preparing ourselves mentally and practically for that possibility.”

On Friday, Cuomo announced that indoor dining would be banned indefinitely in NYC, restricting restaurants to only offering outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery. The state ultimately has the final say in whether or not to put NYC back under a full lockdown.

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