New studies say coronavirus restrictions could end as early as June, but recovery will take much longer
New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut may be able to safely lift some coronavirus restrictions as early as June, according to a new study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a research group at the University of Washington. The study suggests that some social distancing measures — like state-mandated lockdowns — could be safely lifted by the end of summer, although city and state officials have yet to offer definitive reopening dates at this time. Other efforts, including coronavirus testing and limits on group gatherings, would likely still be necessary in June, the IHME says.
That may be an optimistic take for New Yorkers looking to return to their favorite restaurants and bars this summer, but other reports suggest that the reopening of New York City’s dining scene will be far from grand. Nearly half of the city’s small businesses — close to 186,000 stores — could permanently close as a result of the economic downturn, according to another report from the New York Times. Meanwhile, the city’s Independent Budget Office has forecasted that close to half a million people could lose their jobs this year, many of them working in restaurants, retail, or transportation.
Across the city, NYC restaurateurs have faced staffing shortages, sourcing issues, and the uncertainties of a rent crisis. New Yorkers may be able to eat out at restaurants in the coming months — even if that experience looks markedly different — but which restaurants will actually be able to reopen at that time still remains to be seen.
In other news
— A new survey from the National Restaurant Association says that U.S. restaurants are on track to take a $50 billion hit in April. Two-thirds of restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed, the study says, while four in 10 restaurants have closed.
— Five employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Trader Joe’s in Queens, but store managers did not inform other workers until weeks later, according to a new report from local publication QNS. The company’s only grocery store in the borough is still open for now.
— East Harlem coffee shop and bakery Super Nice is delivering doughnuts Wednesday through Sunday evenings, with vegan options available. The cafe is also teaming up with nearby taqueria Taco Africana on a delivery menu, available this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Text 929-249-9138 to pre-order.
— Family-style Italian restaurant Carmine’s is selling jars of its marina sauce, with 100 percent of profits going to its employee relief fund. The 32-ounce jars are available for pick-up and delivery in Manhattan from its Upper West Side location. Purchase the sauce here for $15 or call the restaurant at 212-362-2200.
— A new online class from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Chelsea looks at the history of Jewish food through the lens of Ashkenazi traditions. The course, called “A Seat at the Table, a Journey Into Jewish Food,” will consist of seven sessions released weekly beginning on May 1.
— NYC catering company Purslane is partnering with local non-profit Edible Schoolyard NYC to deliver vegetable-focused lunches and dinners. From April 22 to May 31, all proceeds from their delivery meals will go towards ESNYC’s education programs.
— Some NYC pastry chefs have pivoted to pop-ups, contactless deliveries, and subscription services to get fresh baked goods to customers.
— An updated map of what’s open in the East Village courtesy of EV Grieve.