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Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC Thursday that New York City plans to "fully reopen" on July 1, with no restrictions on restaurants, retail, or any other business.

Why it matters: It will be a major milestone for America's most populous city, which was once the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Flashback: At the peak of the outbreak last April, New York City reported a seven-day rolling average of more than 800 deaths per day. The daily death toll has now dropped to below 40, with over 6 million vaccine doses administered.

What they're saying: While cautioning that he wants people to remain "smart" about public health, de Blasio said that "we now have the confidence that we can pull all of these pieces together and get life back, really, in many ways, to where it was."

  • "We said a month or so ago, it was the variants versus the vaccination, what was going to win, which one was going to win the race. Vaccination is winning this race ... 6.3 million vaccinations, COVID is plummeting," he continued.
  • "This is going to be the summer of New York City. You're going to see amazing activities, cultural activities coming back. I think people are going to flock to New York City, because they want to live again."

Between the lines: De Blasio was asked about possible pushback from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with whom he has clashed throughout the pandemic.

  • "State government and federal government always have a say," de Blasio told MSNBC. "But as mayor of New York City, we're ready to come back and come back strong."
  • "We're focused on the data and the science. That's how we've made every decision, that's what's worked. And the data and the science are saying, out loud, it's time to come back."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

Facebook joins growing list of companies delaying plans to reopen offices

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As the contagious Delta variant continues to reach across the United States, more and more companies are delaying plans to reopen offices.

By the numbers: A recent survey of 1,000 HR professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management and Lucid found that half of U.S. organizations are worried about Delta. Some corporate players have started mandating vaccines for employees in an attempt to combat the variant.

Aug 6, 2021 - Health

Florida to offer school vouchers in cases of "COVID-19 harassment"

Photo: Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Florida's Board of Education on Friday unanimously approved an emergency rule that will allow parents to obtain vouchers to move their children to another school if they perceive any type of "COVID-19 harassment" against their child as related to mask or testing mandates, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has been vocal about giving parents the right to choose whether their children wear masks in schools. The rule was crafted by his administration after he pushed the state's education department to discourage school districts from enforcing mask mandates.

Aug 6, 2021 - Axios Denver

Homelessness in Denver to come to a head this fall

An outreach staffer with the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless offers help to a resident living without shelter in 2016. Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

This fall is shaping up to be a critical moment in Denver's decades-long and largely losing battle against homelessness.

Why it matters: The city saw a 21% increase in homelessness between 2018 and 2020, resulting in nearly 4,200 unhoused residents — and experts are anticipating an even steeper spike this year because of economic hardships caused by the pandemic.

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