As New York State begins to make tentative steps toward reopening, citizens are caught between feeling relief at regaining their freedom and anxiety as COVID-19 remains a clear-and-present threat. With a few precautionary steps, such as testing and personal protection practices, life can get back to a new normal.
At Forest Urgent Care, our team of experienced urgent care providers wants to ensure that our communities approach reopening armed with the information they need to protect their families. Having just had a front-row seat to the devastation that this virus can cause, we’re here to help our patients in any way we can, whether it’s protection against the virus or management of your ongoing health care concerns.
If you’re unsure about whether you’re ready for New York City to reopen, here’s what you should know.
New York City — a special case
As of mid-June, nine of New York State’s 10 regions have entered the second phase of reopening, except for New York City, which is only entering the first phase. For obvious reasons, New York City is approaching reopening with an abundance of caution in an attempt to avoid another flare-up among its closely-quartered populace.
Phase one of reopening includes activities such as:
- Wholesale supply chain businesses
- Certain retailers for curbside business (clothing, electronics, sporting goods, etc.)
- Landscaping and gardening businesses
- Drive-in movie theaters
- Low-risk activities like golf
Of course, medical practices like Forest Urgent Care are open (and have been for some time) as we tend to the community’s health care needs.
Areas of concern in NYC
As you begin to step outside your doors, our governor, the mayor, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have some very firm suggestions about how to move forward, including:
- Wearing a face mask whenever you’re around anyone outside of your household
- Maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet wherever possible
- Limiting the amount of time you interact with people
- Washing or disinfecting your hands frequently
While we’ve been hearing these new rules for some time, putting them into practice in a place like New York City can be tricky.
Take, for example, the subway. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is operating the city’s subways and expects that 300,000 people may re-enter the system with phase one, which is far lower than the 4.3 million people who usually ride the subway each day.
If you need to ride the subway, we strongly urge you to follow the face-covering rule and avoid touching common surfaces. If you can, maintain as much distance between yourself and others and avoid face-to-face interactions.
Conversely, outdoor places like your local park are far safer, and there’s less risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus. You should still wear a face covering at all times, and if you’re meeting up with friends, maintain your physical distance.
If you’re anxious to get back to your place of worship, we recommend that you exercise the same caution as you would in the subway. Indoor spaces where people are in close contact are ideal spreading grounds for a viral infection. It’s for this reason that New York State hasn’t opened up malls or movie theaters yet.
Know your risks
One of the best ways to protect yourself as New York City reopens is to know your risks. The CDC has some fantastic information for citizens who are heading out to let you know what you should be thinking about.
New York State also has a devoted website where you can gather information on the reopening process.
If you have questions about COVID-19 and the reopening process in New York City, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our two offices in Forest Hills or Hunters Point in Long Island City, New York.