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Here's What Your COVID-19 Memorial Day Will Look Like Outdoors Around New York City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- From free masks to grass circles to roaming street announcements, Mayor Bill de Blasio led his COVID-19 daily briefing Friday with details on what social distancing and safety measures will be in place for Memorial Day weekend in New York City.

An army of 2,300 social distancing ambassadors will be reminding people to keep six feet apart, wear facial coverings, and practice other safety tactics to minimize exposure to the coronavirus.

"When we think of a normal summer we think all the things we love to do, all the time we want to spend at the beach or with family barbecues, outdoor concerts, you name it," de Blasio said. "But right now, we have a very different reality and everyone knows it.

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"You cannot let your guard down," he added. "You can't throw away all the progress we've made, we all have fought to get as far as we've gotten in these last weeks. I'm going to keep reminding you. Memorial Day is a time to redouble our efforts, not lose our focus because we want to get to that better place."

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 21: People enjoy a spring afternoon at Brooklyn's Coney Island on May 21, 2020 in New York City. New York City's beaches, a popular destination for people living in cramped apartments, won't be opening for Memorial Day weekend and no date has yet been set for their opening this summer. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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While Coney Island and Rockaway beaches will be open this weekend, don't expect to get too wet. The boardwalk and beach sands will be open for walking, but you'll only be allowed to get ankle-deep in the water. No lifeguards will be present, and no swimming will be allowed.

De Blasio said there would be a 30% increase in the NYPD beach detail which will monitor crowds, passing out free face coverings -- possibly up to 6 to 12 million, but not enforcing social distancing directly.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In addition to the beaches, police will also be active in 230 parks across the city, and 50 city vehicles will be making amplified announcements.

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To help visualize the expected six-foot social distance, white circles spaced apart have been painted in several parks.


The mayor also announced the open streets program closing traffic in favor of pedestrians and cyclists would be expanded to another 13 miles of roads starting on Saturday, doubling the park-side and street space in the initiative.

The new locations, and the local managing partners or precincts, include:

  • 9th St. (managed by Red Hook Initiative )
  • Arlington Pl. (managed by Bedford Stuyvesant Gateway BID )
  • University Pl., MacDougal St. (managed by Village Alliance )
  • Greenwich St. (managed by Hudson Square BID )
  • Pearl St. (managed by Alliance for Downtown NY )
  • Doyers St. (managed by Chinatown District )
  • 2nd Ave Service Rd. (managed by Alliance for Kips Bay )
  • Broadway (managed by Times Square Alliance )
  • Somers St., Macon St. (managed by Bed-Stuy precinct)
  • S 9th St., Grand St, N. 3rd St. (managed by Williamsburg precinct)
  • Underhill Ave., Carlton Ave. (managed by Prospect Heights precinct)
  • Chester Ave. (managed by Kensington precinct)
  • Willoughby Ave. (managed by Fort Greene precinct)
  • Park Pl, Troy Ave. (managed by Crown Heights precinct)
  • Lincoln Pl. (managed by Prospect Heights precinct)
  • State St. (managed by Boerum Hill precinct)
  • 16th St., Moore Pl. (managed by Homecrest precinct)
  • Willow St. (managed by Brooklyn Heights precinct)
  • Butler St., Gregory Pl. (managed by Park Slope precinct)
  • Williams Ave. (managed by Brownsville precinct)
  • Colonial Rd. (managed by Bay Ridge precinct)
  • Jones St. (managed by Greenwich Village precinct)
  • 21st St, 22nd St. (managed by Chelsea precinct)
  • Avenue B (managed by East Village precinct)
  • 103rd St. (managed by Manhattan Valley precinct)
  • Irving Place (managed by Gramercy precinct)
  • Front St. (managed by Seaport precinct)
  • 51st St. (managed by Hell's Kitchen precinct)
  • 117th St., 138th St. (managed by Harlem precinct)
  • Pugsley Ave. (managed by Castle Hill precinct)
  • 99th St. (managed by Rego Park precinct)
  • 50th Ave. (managed by Sunnyside precinct)
  • 66th Rd., Ascan Ave. (managed by Forest Hills precinct)
  • 60th St. (managed by Maspeth precinct)
  • 107th Ave., 108th Ave., 109th Ave., 159th St. (managed by Jamaica precinct)

Looking past the weekend, de Blasio continued to forecast the first or second week in June as when he expects an initial reopening of New York City's normal economy. The metrics or targets would need to keep trending favorably with sustained downturns in hospitalizations, Intensive Care Unit admissions and positive tests.


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