NEW YORK - Another shutdown of non-essential businesses in New York City could happen after Christmas in an effort to control the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, announced Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday.
The mayor was asked during a briefing from City Hall to elaborate on his warning from a day earlier that the entire city should prepare for a full closure.
"I think, unfortunately, I don't say it with anything but sorrow, but I do think it's needed. We are going to need to do some kind of a shut down in the weeks ahead something that resembles the 'pause' we were in in the spring," said de Blasio.
In another effort to stop the spread of the virus, de Blasio announced that as of Tuesday, 73 health care workers had received their first dose of the COVID vaccine with 41,000 more doses expected to be available across hospitals.
"This is going to really speed up. What we are seeing so far is that our hospitals are ready. They have been waiting for this and preparing. It is incredibly encouraging seeing it go into action immediately," said de Blasio.
A decision on a full shutdown would ultimately be made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo who has said he agrees with the move.
"What you should worry about is shutdown because if we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed for shutdown," Cuomo said.
On Monday, the first coronavirus vaccine shot was administered to a nurse in Queens.
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The number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have been steadily climbing in New York City. A new ban on indoor dining went into effect Monday in New York City. Restaurants and bars are still allowed to offer outdoor dining, takeout, or delivery.
The restaurant industry was still struggling to recover from the initial closure and limited indoor seating since the reopening. There are fears that thousands of small businesses will not be able to survive another closure.
De Blasio says that anyone who can avoid going into their workplace in the city should avoid going in and work remotely. He said that hopefully, the restrictions would be for "a matter of weeks."