New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that a Broadway Covid-19 vaccination site reserved for theater industry workers will be included in the city’s drive to get the industry back on stage by September.
“This is going to be a year to turn things around,” de Blasio said. “It’s time to raise the curtain and bring Broadway back.” In addition to the Broadway area vaccination site, the city will use a mobile vaccination unit for theater employees beyond Broadway, and will establish pop-up testing sites near Broadway venues.
The sites will be staffed by theater workers, many of whom lost their jobs when Broadway went dark on March 12, 2020. The new vaccination sites will open over the next four weeks as statewide vaccine eligibility expands.
In addition to the vaccination and testing plan, the city will help develop safety protocols for pre- and post-show crowds, Di Blasio said.
“Today’s announcement is an important recognition from the City of New York that a strong theatre industry means a healthy, strong economy,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Mayor de Blasio clearly understands that we cannot socially distance in our work, making the availability of vaccines and testing critical for maintaining a safe workplace.”
McColl said Equity has been communicating with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment about safety on a regular basis throughout the pandemic. “It is clear that we were heard and the city is pushing forward-looking policy changes that will serve the entire theatrical community,” she said.
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