Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday he intends to enact lockdown restrictions in 20 coronavirus hotspots throughout Brooklyn and Queens following a spike in positivity rates.
“This was not an easy choice to make, and let me be clear: we haven’t seen any issues in these schools,” de Blasio said in a tweet Sunday. “We must, however, be proactive about the safety and health of New Yorkers.”
This was not an easy choice to make, and let me be clear: we haven’t seen any issues in these schools. We must, however, be proactive about the safety and health of New Yorkers.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 4, 2020
Nearly half a million people throughout 20 zip codes would be affected by the lockdowns, which the state must approve, after each area recorded a positivity rate of three percent for a week straight, according to NBC 4 New York.
“Today, unfortunately, is not a day for celebration,” de Blasio said Sunday, according to The New York Times. “Today is a more difficult day.”(RELATED: De Blasio Threatens Arrests For Next Group Gathering)
Nine of the areas are largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, with some of the areas seeing a positivity rate upwards of eight percent despite the city averaging a positivity rate of less than two percent, per the NYT. In these areas, nearly 100 public and 200 private schools would be closed and students would return to remote learning. Non-essential businesses would close as well, with restaurants forced to close except for takeout and delivery, according to Politico.
In 11 other areas, the schools could still remain open, but indoor dining would be banned, per the NYT.
If approved by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the restrictions would begin Wednesday.