(Bloomberg) – New York City on Monday opened a special vaccination facility in Times Square for film, television and theater workers to fuel New York’s vital arts and entertainment industries.
“Art and culture are critical to New York City’s comeback,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a briefing Monday.
De Blasio said the city has exceeded 5 million doses of vaccine administered and is now distributing more than half a million doses a week to fully vaccinate 5 million of the city’s 8 million residents by June. There have been 282 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in New York City in the past seven days. This is the largest number of cases in the country after Michigan and New Jersey, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
While television and film shooting in the city has resumed, Broadway won’t reopen until September. Employment in the arts, entertainment and leisure sectors decreased 66% year over year in 2020. That was the biggest drop among the city’s economic sectors, and erased Comptroller’s office a decade of gains in one of New York’s most dynamic industries, according to a February report. The Times Square location will reserve appointments for entertainment staff five blocks north of Times Square and deliver 1,500 recordings per day.
“Broadway is dark, we’ve all been hit hard,” said Michelle Hurd, a television actress on Star Trek: Picard. “This vaccination center sends a strong message that the arts, entertainment and media industries are coming back.”
De Blasio also said Monday that 51,000 additional elementary, middle and high school students will return to New York City public schools on April 26 after the city gave families another opportunity to opt for face-to-face learning . There are still around 650,000 of the city’s 1 million students who chose to stay in distance learning through the end of the June school year. City officials said they expect all students to return to classrooms in September.
“We wanted this opportunity to give parents the chance to re-enroll if they want, but we’ve always respected the decisions the parents make,” said Meisha Ross Porter, the city’s school chancellor. “Many parents had already adjusted to a schedule and did not want any further disruptions.”
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