NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Friday marks one year since Broadway shut down, leaving thousands out of work and costing billions in losses for the local economy.
As CBS2's John Dias reports, we're now seeing some glimmers of hope for the future.
It was a day New Yorkers and theater lovers won't soon forget. One year ago, COVID turned the bright lights of Broadway off. Thirty one performances were canceled , as cases spike in the Tri-State Area.
Now a year later, Broadway performances are still suspended through May 30 . Leading producer Kevin McCollum said health and safety protocols will be a top priority when shows to resume.
"We're not going to let anyone in this theater, on stage or backstage if we feel there's any risk of putting them in peril," he told CBS2. "Everyone's going to wear a mask, whether you're vaccinated or not."
The shutdown had a $15 billion impact on the city's economy, and thousand of theater professionals are still out of work. However, a growing number of them are returning to do pop-up shows and smaller surprise performances. Details will be kept secret until the last minute to avoid attracting large crowds.
"We are bringing as much joy that we can to the city and as much work to as many people as possible," said Holly-Anne Devlin, of Kaleidoscope Productions.
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"I will direct all states, tribes and territories to make all adults, people 18 and over, eligible to be vaccinated no later than May 1," he said. "If we do this together, by July the 4th, there's a good chance you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout or barbeque and celebrate Independence Day."
Thursday night in the Bronx, Montefiore Hospital hosted a vigil to remember those lost and honor the hero frontline workers who are still tirelessly fighting to save lives.
"For us, it does take a mental toll, because we never know the person that's on the other side of that call that might not make it," nurse manager Gwen Anderson said.
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- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
Now the toll of the pandemic is becoming horrifyingly clear. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to show the U.S. death rate rose by 15% in 2020, officially making it the deadliest year in recorded history.
With vaccinations on the rise, doctors say we could soon have COVID on the run.
"I do believe that the worst is behind us," said Dr. Ashish Jha, of Brown University. "The ticket out of this pandemic is these vaccines. Then the pandemic comes to an end."
Biden is also starting a federal COVID website on May 1 and plans to use dentists, veterinarians and medical students to distribute the vaccine.
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