New York City is canceling concerts, festivals and parades, including the 2020 Pride march, through June as the city seeks to drive down its coronavirus infection rate, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
On Friday, De Blasio canceled nonessential events through May and a city-sponsored concert series that was scheduled start June 22. In extending the cancellations through June, de Blasio said it was a decision "we have to make." Most of the events will be rescheduled, he said.
"That joy and that pride that all of these events bring, that celebration, will be back," de Blasio said at a press conference, noting that the new cancellations include the 50th annual gay pride parade marking the 1969 uprising at the Stonewall Inn.
David Correa, interim executive director of Heritage of Pride, said it wasn't easy to cancel the parade, especially given the economic hit LGBTQIA+ businesses will take from it, "but our top priority remains the health and well-being of all those that participate with us."
De Blasio said Covid-19 hospitalizations are falling but still high. On Saturday, 212 people were admitted to hospitals for suspected cases, down from 317 on Friday. He said 853 people were in intensive care for Covid-19 on Saturday, up slightly from 849 the previous day.
"This is not a perfect daily report, but it's getting better and it's damn close to what we're looking for," he said.
De Blasio said public health officials and infectious disease experts are unsure how the next few months will play out, but he reiterated that the pandemic will end at some point.
"What we can say though, one thing we have heard universally is this is a crisis that has an endpoint," he said. "I know it's going to be a tough road. I know it's not going to be simple. I know it's going to be a long road."
De Blasio added that the city is expanding mental health support for families through the spring, saying that it's "going to be painful" as children head back to school in the next second year.