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“Today Is A New Day” – NYC Begins Lifting Lockdown, New Zealand Declared “Coronavirus Free”: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Following nearly 2 weeks of peaceful protests pockmarked by violence and looting – killings and shootings skyrocketed across NYC last week as the summer 'killing season' begins – America's biggest "hot zone" kicked off "Phase 1" of its plan to reopen its economy on Monday, exactly 100 days after the first case of the virus was confirmed.

Since the outbreak began, more than 205,000 New Yorkers who have tested positive for the virus, while another 22,000 succumbed to the virus.

Exactly 100 days since its first case of coronavirus was confirmed, New York City, which weathered extensive hardship as an epicenter of the worldwide outbreak, is set to take the first tentative steps toward reopening its doors on Monday.

According to the NYT, as many as 400,000 workers will return to construction jobs, manufacturing sites and retail stores in the city’s first phase of reopening as the number of COVID-19 deaths recorded across the US continues to fall, with fewer than 1,000 deaths reported each day (remember when the NYT claimed that deaths would be north of 3,000/day by June 1?).

It's a far cry from the 'peak' of the outbreak, when 800 NYC residents were dying from the virus every day.

The city ran more than 60k tests a day over the weekend, Gov Cuomo claimed.

That is low enough for New York City’s corps of contract tracers, who began work last week, to try to track every close interaction and, officials hope, stop a resurgence of the virus.

“You want to talk about a turnaround — this one, my friends, is going to go in the history books,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Saturday.

Of course, it could be months before office workers return en masse, as the world waits to see how the city's public transit will handle social distancing concerns. And for many retailers in the city, the conditions in 'Phase 1' are still too restrictive. Simply reopening doesn't mean customers will return, and curbside pickup doesn't make a lot of sense for many retailers either, according to the NYT. Business groups in the city say many retailers are waiting for the next phase to venture out, when outdoor dining is allowed, office workers are permitted to return and shoppers are allowed to take their time and browse. The earliest these shops might be able to reopen would be later this month.

Some employers have developed new technological solutions to this problem. When more than 100 workers return to Newlab, a "technology hub" in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they will be offered a device that buzzes whenever they get too close to another worker. The essential workers that have remained in the office this entire time have already been wearing the devices.

The city's army of thousands of contact tracers officially started their work last week, and will continue aiding in efforts to quash a rebound in infections. Meanwhile, city officials will be closely monitoring a suite of metrics, from emergency room admission data to new case numbers, for signs of a potentially crippling resurgence.

On the other side of the world, New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except for its border controls on Monday after declaring that the small island nation is "coronavirus free", making it one of the first nations to return to normalcy after the outbreak. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she "danced for joy". Restaurants, retailers, transit and virtually everywhere else reopened without mandatory social distancing. It has been 17 days since the country recorded a new case of the virus.

"While the job is not done, there is no denying this is a milestone … Thank you, New Zealand,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference, saying she had danced for joy at the news.

"We are confident we have eliminated transmission of the virus in New Zealand for now, but elimination is not a point in time, it is a sustained effort.”

Globally, the total case count topped 7 million late last night, while the number of deaths passed 400k over the weekend, as Brazil, Mexico, Russia and possibly India struggle to bring the outbreak to heel.


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