He hopes they get it! He hopes they get it! How many vaccines do they need?
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that New York City is gearing up for the return of Broadway in the fall — and will set up dedicated COVID-19 vaccine sites so eligible theater workers can get their shots.
“There’s a great saying in the theater — ‘The show must go on’ — and the show will go on on Broadway and off-Broadway when we get to the fall,” de Blasio declared during a City Hall press briefing, noting that he expects to see the reopening of Broadway in September.
Broadway stars Telly Leung and André De Shields made guest appearances at the press conference to hail the curtain going up on the Great White Way after more than a year of coronavirus-induced closure.
“New York is on its way back, but it will not completely arrive until not only Broadway, but all theaters across this great city has returned,” said De Shields, who was starring in
“Hadestown” when Broadway went dark.
In the coming weeks, the city plans on setting up the vaccination sites on Broadway, a mobile unit to serve off-Broadway theaters and pop-up coronavirus testing sites at theaters both on and off Broadway, de Blasio said.
Currently, the city would only be permitted to vaccinate theater workers and performers who are eligible by state standards since not all those in that group have been made eligible by the state.
“The vast majority of adults in New York City are eligible right now. We want to make vaccination accessible to the Broadway community,” said de Blasio.
The city is also developing plans to manage crowds before and after shows.
“The city of New York — we’ll do the vaccinations, we’ll do the testing, we’ll help with the crowd management working with the theaters. We’ll do everything in our power to bring Broadway and off-Broadway back strong,” he said.
But he called on the state to quickly issue “clear guidance” for theater workers involving “mask usage, in terms of how we use proof of vaccination or proof of negative testing to help ensure that everyone can work and that crowds can come back in the fall.”
“These tools are necessary,” de Blasio said. “We need clear delineation on how to keep workers safe. We need a clear approach for identifying audiences who have been vaccinated.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously announced that beginning April 2, New York’s arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors.