“It’s stabilizing, and based on our optimistic views, we appear to be moving in the right direction,” he said. “It really appears the numbers in our hospitals are stabilizing. We are looking forward just continuing to stabilize and hopefully see a decline. The goal is to continue to do the great things that New Yorkers are doing. I cannot overemphasize…it’s about vaccinations and booster shots.”
The mayor also reiterated that schools are not closing, despite his being open to considering a remote option.
“Let’s be very clear on that, we are not closing our schools,” he said. “This is not Chicago. We are working with the UFT on different methods on how we can make sure our children are educated in a very safe environment.”
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He said that while children at home had a 15% possibility of being exposed, that number is just 1% in schools.
In emphasizing his push to get workers physically back to work, Adams thanked workers at the Steinway Piano Factory in Astoria, Queens, where each piano takes at least nine months to build by hand.
Roughly 75% of workers there are immigrants, and building pianos by hand cannot be done remotely.
“It is time to get back to our workplaces, it is time to open our city,” Adams said. “We cannot run a city as complex as New York City remotely. I will say this over and over again, we want to encourage our businesses in a safe way.”
It all comes after a bit of good news earlier this week that COVID-19 numbers in New York are trending downward — a signal that the spike fueled by the omicron variant may be starting to wane.
“We might be cresting over that peak,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “Cases are slowing down, rate of increase is slowing down, but they are still high. We are not at the end, but I wanted to say this is, to me, a glimmer of hope, a glimmer of hope at a time we desperately need that.”
Despite cases starting to drop, Hochul said there are no plans to lift vaccination or mask mandates in businesses or mask mandates in schools.
“I am so looking forward to, just so you know personally, to lift all these restrictions that were put in place for the right reasons,” she said. “I know there will come a time.”
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