De Blasio cancels all nonessential city-permitted events through May


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Friday announced that all nonessential permitted events throughout the city for the month of May will officially be canceled, including parades, concerts, rallies and other large gatherings. 

“We love those events, but what do we know about those events? It inherently means large numbers of people crowded together in a pretty small space. That’s New York City. That’s who we are, but, guess what? That goes against everything that we need to do to fight back the coronavirus,” de Blasio told reporters Friday. 

“We have to be smart. We love those things. We’ll miss them when we don’t have them, but they will be back. They will be back, and by knowing when it’s time to temporarily let them go so we can get to a greater goal, we’re going to actually look back and say that was the smart thing to do,” he continued, including both community and cultural events in his sentiments.

De Blasio specifically cited the Brooklyn Half Marathon and SummerStage in Central Park, a free performing arts festival. 

The New York City mayor said essential permitted locations, including medical sites, hygiene stations and food provisions like farmers markets and meal distribution locations, will remain open. 

April events across the city were already canceled, and de Blasio warned that New York officials are discussing cancellation of June events with organizers. 

“I think it’s important to say it out loud and lock it in so people know what’s really going on, so people can plan, including these people who put together these amazing events, and we really honor them. We appreciate them. They do something so special for New York City every single year. They deserve some certainty too,” de Blasio said. 

“We’re talking to the people who organize those big June events, a lot of really, really major events in June that we cherish. We’re talking to the people who really have the most important ownership stake in those events, the folks who organize them, put them together each year,” he added later, saying that “job one is to get out of this crisis and move us forward.” 

De Blasio also said he is considering keeping public beaches closed, saying that he “can’t see” opening them due to the pandemic’s continued spread.

He also said five new testing sites that were previously announced are set to open today and Monday throughout the city. The test sites will serve people with pre-existing conditions who are older than 65. There will initially be 2,400 tests at those sites, but de Blasio called for the number of tests to increase quickly.

There are over 222,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York state. As of Friday morning, 12,192 people had died.

Tags Bill de Blasio Coronavirus New York New York City
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