Southern Brooklyn

Restrictions loosen in Southern Brooklyn following decrease in COVID cases

November 10, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
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COVID-19 based restrictions have been loosened in Southern Brooklyn, despite fears of a second wave of the coronavirus.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo updated the status of Brooklyn’s restricted COVID-19 micro-cluster focus areas on Friday, Nov. 6, and in this borough, the red zone, the most severe category, was changed to a less-severe orange zone. The zone in question stretches from 18th Avenue in Borough Park to the Belt Parkway near Coney Island, with Ocean Parkway as a median.

Brooklyn’s red zone had already been reduced in size by 50 percent last week because metrics had demonstrated continued progress in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Because there has been even more progress, the zone is now being transitioned to orange, according to the Governor’s Office. This allows many businesses to reopen.

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In addition, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced that five churches, three of which are St. Athanasius, 6115 Bay Pkwy.; Holy Spirit Church, 1712 45th St.; and St. Catherine of Alexandria, 1119 41st St., are now in the yellow zone, the least-restrictive category. Here, houses of worship can be open at 50 percent maximum capacity.

The new boundaries of Southern Brooklyn’s COVID cluster zones. Brooklyn no longer has a red zone, the most restrictive category. Photo courtesy of NYC Mayor’s Office

In orange zones, non-essential gatherings must be limited to 25 people in both indoor and outdoor settings. Any individual who encourages, promotes or organizes mass gatherings may be fined up to $15,000 per day. All businesses may remain open, and indoor and outdoor dining are allowed, provided there are no more than four people per table. And, importantly for parents, all New York City public schools, religious schools and private schools may remain open.

“Most of our area is now back to ‘normal’ and resumes the way things were before these yellow, orange, red cluster zones,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan. “This means we go back to the COVID guidelines we had before we were designated as a yellow zone.”

However, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers that things could be turning for the worse.

“Unfortunately, we’re also dealing with an immense challenge this morning, because we see the presence of the coronavirus in the city and is trying to reassert itself,” he said on Monday, Nov. 9. We need to do everything in our power to stop the coronavirus from reasserting in New York City. We have to stop a second wave from happening here. It is getting dangerously close.”

Now that Brooklyn and Queens COVID numbers have improved, de Blasio warns of an increase on Staten Island

“For weeks, it was parts of Brooklyn and Queens,” he said. “Those areas, thank God, have gotten a lot better — still work to do, but they’ve gotten a lot better. But, as we talked about in the end of last week, now we’re having some challenges in Staten Island. So, we’re going to focus a lot of resources there to protect the people’s Staten Island and to stop this second wave.”

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