NYC To ‘Rewind’ Reopening In Some Neighborhoods As Covid-19 Cases Surge
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that pending state approval, he will reinstate school and non-essential business closures in certain neighborhoods because of a severe spike in coronavirus cases.
Under the plan, nine ZIP codes in Brooklyn and Queens will be forced to close both public and private schools as well as non-essential businesses starting Wednesday.
Restaurants must close indoor and outdoor dining but will still be allowed to take pickup and delivery orders, the mayor said.
The new enforcement actions were prompted by a Covid-19 testing positivity rate above 3% over seven consecutive days in those ZIP codes.
The positivity rate for the entire city, which has held steady around 1% since June, was 1.4% as of Saturday (based on a 7-day rolling average).
Neighborhoods in the affected ZIP codes include Borough Park, Gravesend, Midwood, Kew Gardens, Pomonok, and Far Rockaway, among others.
“The vast majority of New York City is holding steady right now with low positivity levels and we want to keep it that way,” de Blasio said during a press briefing Sunday. “These actions that we’re taking in Brooklyn and Queens are to protect the whole city.”
De Blasio also identified 11 additional ZIP codes—including the Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Rego Park, and Hillcrest neighborhoods—as “areas of real concern” that will not yet require the larger restrictions but will be required to halt indoor dining.
New York City emerged as an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring, though the rate of new cases had slowed by the summer months after an extended lockdown period. The number of new cases has begun to climb again in recent weeks, however, and at the end of September the city saw its first day with more than 1,000 new cases since June 5. There have been 250,583 confirmed cases of the virus and 23,844 deaths in New York City as of Sunday, according to a New York Times tracker.
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