Southern Brooklyn

Cuomo eases some COVID zone restrictions in Brooklyn

October 21, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Cuomo eases some COVID zone restrictions in Brooklyn
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Orange zones have become yellow zones, red remains the same

Parts of Brooklyn are going to get some relief, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced changes in some local cluster zones in the borough because COVID-19 cases are flattening.

According to statistics provided by Cuomo, in Brooklyn red zones, the positive rate was 7.7 percent during the last week of September. Over the last seven days, it has decreased to 5.5 percent.

“Brooklyn had a red zone, an orange zone and a yellow zone,” Cuomo said. “Brooklyn the red zone remains the red zone. The orange zone becomes the yellow zone and the yellow zone remains the yellow. There are less restrictions in a yellow zone than an orange zone.”

One neighborhood that was in the orange zone is Sunset Park.

David Estrada, executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID), said that changing the area to a yellow zone is welcoming but frustrating.

“Small-scale personal care businesses and neighborhood restaurants serving at limited capacity were never a likely driver of COVID-19 community transmission,” he explained. “For shops that were shuttered or operating at a fraction of their capacity, closing and opening, just to close again was extremely confusing and costly.”

He added that Sunset Park showed its ability to combat COVID-19 when it stopped a virus spike back in the summer.

“But public health and economic recovery must go hand-in-hand,” he said. “This city needs to stay safe and find solutions for small business survival at the same time. Rent relief, more accessible grants and loans, more creative accommodations by city agencies are all desperately needed here.

“For example, while restaurants salvaged a portion of fair weather income with outdoor dining, we need retail stores to receive special consideration before the winter shopping season,” he said.

Councilmember Mark Treyger stated that businesses can reopen in the yellow zone as soon as tomorrow, according to the Governor’s Office, but they must still adhere to guidance.

“Reminder that schools within the yellow zone are being told they can reopen Monday by the state, and I’m still awaiting official word from City Hall,” he said.

According to the new guidelines, schools such as P.S. 69, the Vincent D Grippo School, at 6302 9th Ave., which fell within an orange zone, can open on Monday.

However, schools inside the red zone such as Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, 5800 20th Ave., is one of the schools will remain closed.

Within the yellow zone, 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.

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