THEATER DISTRICT, Manhattan (PIX11) — New Yorkers may be wearing masks more around the city, as COVID-19 numbers rise around the region and leaders try to get ahead of BA.2.
Sisters Lynn and Jane were in the city Saturday visiting from Virginia and South Carolina. They finally made it to the Big Apple after several pandemic postponements. The ladies were about to see their fourth Broadway show this week and they are OK with the mask and vaccine requirements. “Because I’m glad to not be exposed to whatever anybody has got,” said Lynn Clayton.
Despite Broadway’s current COVID-19 protocols, business is still booming at the box office. The Broadway League, which represents the owners and operators of the 41 Broadway venues, reports overall attendance has been at or near a strong 90% of seating capacity.
“The Committee of theatre owners is monitoring the science and has decided to wait until April 15, at which time they will affirm the protocols beyond April 30,” Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement.
The decision to maintain current protocols around the Theater District comes as New York City experiences an uptick in coronavirus cases. Health officials say the BA.2 strain is 50% more transmissible than the original omicron variant.
The NYC Test & Trace Corps is providing an additional 6.3 million free at-home tests this month to more than 2,500 places across the five boroughs. Plus, the controversial mask mandate for children ages 2 to 4 will remain in place. It was originally scheduled to be dropped this Monday, but on Friday the city was granted a stay from an appeals court.
The city is now strongly recommending everyone wear masks in public indoors and get their booster shots.