Mayor introduces website to determine which areas will shut down
Because Southern Brooklyn experienced a well-publicized uptick in positive COVID cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled the release of the “Find Your Zone” map. The website is a new tool to help New Yorkers find out within which COVID-19 cluster zone they may live, work or go to school.
The site came online a day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the creation of the Cluster Action Initiative to determine which hotspots will be shut down due to a high percentage of positive tests. The plan is based on a color-coded system.
According to the site, parts of Gravesend, Midwood, Coney Island, Bensonhurst/Mapleton and Borough Park are in a red zone. In red zones, 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 delivery, and mass gatherings are prohibited. In addition, all schools must close in-person classes and return to full remote learning.
Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, 5800 20th Ave., is one of the schools that falls within a red zone.
Parts of Sunset Park are categorized in an orange zone, which means 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. Only outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery, will be allowed for restaurants.
In addition, mass gatherings will be limited to 10 people maximum, indoors and outdoors, and schools must close and return to full remote learning.
Schools such as P.S. 69, the Vincent D Grippo School, at 6302 9th Ave., fall within an orange zone.
Parts of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights are included in a yellow zone. In this category, 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 safety. The Department of Health will set a percentage value by Friday.
The schools in the nine ZIP codes that closed on Monday, Oct. 6 will remain closed until further notice regardless of where they fall on the governor’s map.
“What the Health Department here originally proposed was zip codes, because even though it was not perfect, it was still a clear methodology,” de Blasio said on Oct. 7. “The State has come up with a different approach. We’re working with the State to get very clear the exact boundaries, and then put that online and make it searchable by address.”
For a full list of the status of particular schools, visit bit.ly/3loYHbV.
De Blasio added the city will send agency staffers to enforce regulations and alert business owners.
“If they are in one of the zones that requires closure or modification, we’ll alert them, and we’ll obviously give them the chance to immediately act on it,” he said. “If a business owner refuses, they would be liable for penalties.”
Although the lockdown on various areas started Thursday, Oct. 8, the website didn’t go live until around 8 p.m. the night beforehand, leaving many confused.
“Needless to say, 8 p.m. the night before is not the way any parent, student or school should learn about its closure,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger.
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