More than a year after COVID-19 ravaged the Big Apple, New Yorkers will be treated to a major celebratory bash.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during his daily news briefing Monday that a special outdoor concert will take place in Central Park in August to celebrate the summer and the drop in coronavirus cases.
As of Monday, the city's positivity rate was 0.71%, and the seven-day average of new daily cases reported was 215, according to the city's health department. This is a far cry from two months ago, before vaccines were opened up to all New Yorkers over 18, when the positivity rate was over 50% and the seven-day average of new daily cases was around 4,000.
In the spring of 2020, the city was averaging tens of thousands of cases a day.
De Blasio said the concert "will emphatically make the point there is no stopping New York."
'"In August, get ready for an unforgettable week, a once in a lifetime concert and a moment that really says 'New York City’s back,'" he said.
More details about the concert, including the lineup of performers, will be revealed in the coming weeks, according to the mayor. De Blasio said he turned to record producer Clive Davis to help organize the event.
"I can tell you [it's going to be an][ all-star lineup," de Blasio said. "Obviously, Central Park, we're going to have a huge crowd. We're going to keep it safe."
The mayor touted the success of the city's vaccination program for reducing COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, 45% of all New York City residents and 55% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the health department. Approximately 52% of the city's entire population and 64% of adults have received at least one dose.
There are, however, major discrepancies when it comes to vaccine distribution, according to the city health data.
Vaccination rates are higher in Manhattan and among Asian and white residents compared to the outer boroughs and Black and Latino residents, according to the health department.
In Manhattan, where 62% of the population is white according to U.S. Census data, 72% of residents have at least one shot, health data shows. However in the Bronx, where only 44.7% of the population is white, just 55% of residents have one shot, the lowest rate in the city, according to the Health department.
De Blasio and health officials have been ramping up efforts to educate and encourage New Yorkers to get their free shots, and the state has launched some incentives, such as free MetroCards, to pick up their numbers.
"We think a lot of parents are going to be ready to have their kids vaccinated, particularly the youngest kids. It is about engaging houses of worship. It's about being ubiquitous in public housing. We're going to do all of the above," the mayor said.
Anyone who needs help scheduling a free vaccine appointment can log onto vaccines.gov.