NYC Considering Lifting More Restrictions as Positivity Rate Falls

NEW YORK -
A child enjoys a ride after the seasonal opening of the Coney Island amusement park, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The last patient treated in a New York state field hospital will head home triumphantly as the state closes the last field hospital in a recovery milestone.

The South Beach Psychiatric Center in Staten Island, which operated as an emergency field hospital for over 1,000 patients since last April, closed its doors this week, NBC News4 reported.

“I want to thank the doctors, nurses and facility staff who were on the front lines, putting themselves and their families at risk, to care for their neighbors and community,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “The best way to show our appreciation for their service is to get vaccinated and continue to do the things that have allowed us to get to this point, including wearing a mask and following the safety measures that help prevent new infections.”

The critical coronavirus numbers – hospitalizations and deaths – continue to fall by as much as double digit percentage points every two weeks, even as daily cases report remain steady and hit 2 million reported infections on Thursday. New York City’s positivity rate fell below 5% to 4.83%.

City and state officials have voiced their optimism that the recovery will continue and more restrictions can be pulled back by the summer.

The state has reopened outdoor amusement parks and indoor museums, and continues to expand hours of operation and indoor dining accommodation for restaurants.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, at his press conference on Thursday, hinted the city may end its mask mandate in June, when the city is expected to hit 5 million vaccinations.

“Continue to wear their masks and I’ll keep saying it, at least through June,” the mayor said. “Stick with the mask, stick with the social distancing, people are still being smart and cautious and that’s helping us.”

“We’re going to have to keep mask restrictions in place until we’re 100% sure we’re out of the woods, and the best way to know we’re out of the woods is to see those vaccination numbers go up and up and up,” he added.

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smarcus@hamodia.com