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Big Apple Looks Likely to Lock Down Just as Vaccine Rollout Begins

Things may be looking up, but the Five Burroughs are locking down.

Today was an historic day here in the United States, as the first commercially-available vaccine against COVID-19 began to be administered to a prioritized cadre of Americans.

After over 9 months of exhausting loneliness and mental anguish, this vaccine could be the light at the end of the tunnel for the United States, particularly as the economy remains stalled due to the need for social distancing, and the sheer amount of business that have been affected.

But, just as things begin to look up, New York City is ready to lock down.

New York is headed toward a second full shutdown if Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations continue at their current pace, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“If we do not change the trajectory, we could very well be headed to shut down” all non-essential businesses, Cuomo said Monday at a virus briefing.

The state reported 5,712 hospitalizations, an increase of more than 1,000 in the past week. If that pace continues, it will be at 11,000 in a month, and some regions may be overwhelmed, Cuomo said.

The increase is of particular concern in dense regions like New York City, the governor said. Cuomo shut down the city’s indoor dining on Monday, even as he cited statistics showing that three-fourths of new cases come from private gatherings.

Cuomo wasn’t the only one:

Mayor Bill De Blasio warned residents to be prepared for a shutdown, and urged employees who don’t need to be going into a workplace to work remotely “as much as they could.”

“The likelihood of more restrictions soon is high, so folks should begin making adjustments soon and work remotely if they can,” he said. He couched a potential shutdown as shorter than the one New York experienced in the spring. “Hopefully we’re talking about restrictions only for a matter of weeks, but we have to be preparing ourselves mentally and practically for that possibility.”

New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States for several months, and was likely the most worrisome spot in all the world at one point during the tumult.

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