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As COVID-19 Cases Plateau, Some NYC Officials Warn Against Reopening Too Soon

Plus, supporters of Jing Fong are planning another protest this afternoon — and more intel

Daily Life in New York City Around The One-year Anniversary of The COVID-19 Shut Down
Some NYC elected officials are calling for a pause on reopenings
Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images

Some elected officials are wary of the reopenings next month

Some NYC elected officials are calling for a pause on the current reopening trajectory outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, arguing that as new variants of COVID-19 spread in NYC, there’s a risk of another spike in cases, Gothamist reports.

On Wednesday, City Council member Mark Levine and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held a press conference raising concerns about the reopening of sports, arts, and entertainment venues next month. Dr. Celine Gounder, an NYU epidemiologist and former advisor to President Joe Biden, was one of the participants on the press conference and pointed to the recent rise in cases in Europe as a reason to exercise extra caution and pause the reopening of indoor dining. Officials are argue that more people need to be vaccinated before restrictions are relaxed.

In response to the press conference, Jack Sterne, a spokesperson for Cuomo told Gothamist that 27 percent of New Yorkers have received at least one shot of the vaccine so far, and pointed to the recent acceleration in vaccines. He also noted that New York had among the strictest reopening measures in place in the country.

Still, in recent weeks, the rapid fall in COVID-19 cases that was seen in February has reached a plateau, according to city data. The city is still tallying more than 3,000 new cases daily on a seven-day average, and the positivity rate has remained relatively stable at above 6 percent for the past few weeks. Mayor Bill de Blasio too warned against reopening too soon earlier this week, and is against expanding indoor dining in the city beyond the current 50 percent capacity. Restaurants in the rest of the state can operate at 75 percent capacity at present.

In other news

— Supporters of iconic Chinatown establishment Jing Fong are planning another protest this afternoon against the building’s landlord, Jonathan Chu, and the shuttering of the restaurant’s massive dining room.

— Chef Daniel Humm, of Eleven Madison Park, is partnering with the non-profit, the Albers Foundation, to raise money to fund a maternity and pediatric hospital in Senegal. The auction runs through March 31, and items include a private dinner with Humm at Eleven Madison Park, when the restaurant reopens.

— The Goods Mart in Soho is restarting its Jamaican food weekend pop-up starting this Saturday, March 27. Chef Derron Williams returns with dishes like jerk chicken, oxtail, pulled pork, and potato salad.

— A lawsuit filed by a Tribeca building owner alleges that one of the tenants was hosting massive parties in their apartment with hundreds of guests, over the past few months.

— Starting this weekend, Hell’s Kitchen restaurant Casa Del Toro is hosting live aerialist performances on weekends.

— Lunch plans sorted:

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