Neighborhoods face lockdown due to COVID spike

October 6, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Neighborhoods face lockdown due to COVID spike
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Several Brooklyn neighborhoods will again be on lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the creation of the Cluster Action Initiative to determine which hotspots will be shut down due to a high percentage of positive tests.

“As noted by the state government, NYC will be consulted on the new COVID cluster maps,” said Bill Neidhardt, press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Tomorrow, the city will engage in outreach and education in these communities, with implementation likely to begin on Thursday.”

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It is not yet known which Brooklyn neighborhoods will be affected. On Sunday, de Blasio sent a proposal to the state government to close non-essential businesses, including public and private schools, in ZIP codes where positive rates have remained above three percent for the past seven days. The ZIP codes include 11219 (Borough Park), 11223 (Gravesend/Homecrest) and 11204 (Bensonhurst/Mapleton).

Locations will be categorized either red, orange or yellow, based on proximity to the cluster.

Under red, 25 percent capacity (a maximum of 10 people) will be allowed in a place of worship. Only essential businesses will be allowed to remain open, restaurants can only permit takeout and mass gatherings are prohibited.

Under orange, 33 percent capacity (25 people maximum) will be allowed in places of worship. High-risk, non-essential businesses such as gyms and personal care facilities will be closed, and only outdoor dining will be allowed. Mass gatherings will be limited to 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors.

All schools will be shut down under red and orange.

Under yellow, 50 percent capacity will be permitted in places of worship. Indoor and outdoor dining will be permitted and all non-essential businesses will remain open. Schools will be open, with mandatory weekly testing of students and teachers/staff for in-person settings. DOH will set percent by Friday.

Fines for sponsors of mass gatherings were increased to $15,000.

“We have a clear and effective plan to respond to any clusters that threaten our progress,” Cuomo said. “We will attack each area in the cluster with appropriate restrictions.”

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