Mayor Eric Adams visited the Steinway piano factory in Queens on Jan. 14 to thank the workers for their hard work, and use the opportunity to highlight the return to in-person activities in the middle of a COVID surge. Adams said he has had an optimistic outlook on the COVID numbers recently, hoping the city is approaching a peak in cases.
“The news seems promising,” Adams said. “Eric did not say we peaked and we declined. So I don’t need that to be the headline. I say it’s stabilizing. And based on our optimistic views, we appear to be moving in the right direction.”
NYC has gone from 42,641 new cases on Jan. 9, to 33,305 as of Jan. 13. If the numbers continue to trend downwards, factories like Steinway have a chance to stay open. “Steinway piano factory has been here for 150 years, a legendary industry here in New York City. And COVID can’t stop it,” the mayor said.
He brought Deputy Mayor of Health and Human services Anne Williams-Isom to the factory to go into more detail on how the city can keep businesses open. “It’s going to be difficult, but there are ways for us to stay safe and healthy. You have to get vaccinated. It’s the best thing that we can do to keep ourselves safe,” Williams-Isom said.
She also urged the public to stay home if they feel sick, which is standard practice, but comes as a slight contradiction to the situation at hand. While Adams has criticized parents and students for not showing up to school and urged people to go back to work, the reality is that the risk of transmission is still high, and there are still not enough resources to make sure that classrooms and factories and restaurants don’t close down.
State Sen. Jessica Ramos joined the mayor to draw more attention to this, saying, “A child in my youngest son’s class tested positive for Coronavirus and he was sent home with tests to take – obviously having to provide a negative result the following day five days later, but I quickly learned from other neighbors that that was not true for those who are in kindergarten or Pre K or 3K.”
She added that she is working with the Adams administration to make sure that enough tests are available for young people who cannot get the vaccine or booster shot yet.
“So I’m very happy to be here this morning to call attention to, yes, the importance of our economy. But I don’t believe that we should put profit over people and we should be keeping people safe,” Ramos said.