COVID Vaccine In NYC: Dedicated Vaccination, Testing Sites Will Open For Theater Workers

It's been more than a year since Broadway went dark, but finally, there's a plan to turn the lights back on. The city announced dedicated vaccination and testing sites will open for theater workers; CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reports.

Video Transcript

KRISTINE JOHNSON: It's been more than a year since Broadway went dark. But finally, there is a plan to turn the lights back on. Welcome back. I'm Kristine Johnson.

DICK BRENNAN: And I'm Dick Brennan. And we can tell you, the city announced dedicated vaccination testing sites will open for theater workers. A live look now from Times Square at the heart of it all. The goal is to get Broadway back by September. CBS 2's Natalie Duddridge reports.

- The show must go on. And the show will go on.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- (SINGING) [INAUDIBLE]

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: It's the moment Broadway stars like Grammy, Tony, and Emmy award winner Andre De Shields have been waiting for.

ANDRE DE SHIELDS: We are ready. We've stayed in shape. Our voices are strong. All we need is a stage.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: And the stage is now set to reopen by September.

- So the next four weeks, we'll be setting up dedicated vaccination site specifically for the theater community, the theater industry.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: Testing sites will also be set up right in the theater district for on and off Broadway stage crews production teams and performers crucial for safe rehearsing. Like Brooklyn born actor Telly Leung, who has been patiently waiting in the wings.

TELLY LEUNG: This pandemic has hit our industry particularly hard. I think it's time for all of us to heal from the trauma. That is where artists come in. We help heal the soul.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: Healing not just artistically, but financially. Broadway accounts for 100,000 jobs and has an economic impact of $15 billion a year.

KATIE SHINDLE: Broadway and the theater contribute more to New York's economy than all of the sports teams combined.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: But unlike sports arenas, theaters are extremely intimate. And producers say it's just not feasible to open unless seats are filled to at least 75% capacity. That's why city officials will also be working closely to ensure theaters can safely accommodate audiences and control crowds.

CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN: I love things like the idea of a passport or a certificate that says you've been tested in the last 42 hours and you're COVID free, or that you've had the vaccination.

NATALIE DUDDRIDGE: The theater community says it needs these next six months to rehearse, get sets, and costumes ready, orchestras tuned up all under new guidelines that are still being set before the lights come up once again this fall. In Times Square, Natalie Duddridge, CBS 2 News.