Pending approval from Governor Andrew uomo, the city will reverse its reopening process in nine zip codes where positive infection rates have surged to more than 3percent for the past seven days, including Kew Gardens (11415) and Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonk (11367).
Under the new sanctions, which are proposed to begin Wednesday, October 7, the city would press “pause” on indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants in these neighborhoods, as well as close all local public and private schools and non-essential businesses.
“Today is not a day for celebration,” the mayor said during a Sunday morning press conference. “This will not be easy at all, but it’s something that we believe is necessary.”
The potential shutdowns would affect 100 public schools and 200 private schools, as well as more than a half-million New Yorkers.
In addition to Edgemere/Far Rockaway (11691) in Queens, the reversals would also be implemented in six South Brooklyn neighborhoods: Borough Park (11219), Gravesend (11223), Midwood (11230), Bensonhurst (11204), Flatlands (11210), and Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay (11229).
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams chalked the news up to a combination of ineffective planning and poor communication on part of the de Blasio administration.
“The city has continually failed to work with communities that have language or cultural barriers to stop the spread of COVID-19, and has not invested adequate resources to help lower-income areas that are among the most vulnerable to the virus,” he said in a statement. “To stop the spread, the city must immediately deputize community organizations in these neighborhoods who have the credibility and ability to educate and organize New Yorkers in their areas to take care of themselves and their neighbors.”
Officials say the shutdowns could last from two to four weeks, depending on when infection rates in areas of concern fall back under 3 percent.
The city’s proposal would also see preliminary restrictions in another 11 Queens and Brooklyn zip codes that have been flagged with rates remaining between 2 and 3 percent, including Rego Park (11374), Fresh Meadows/Hillcrest (11366), Hillcrest/Jamaica Estates/Jamaica Hills (11432) and parts of Williamsburg (11211 & 11249).
Starting Wednesday, high-risk activities such as indoor dining, gyms and pools would be closed in the areas where coronavirus has been detected on the rise. If positivity rates top 3 percent for more than seven consecutive days, those neighborhoods could face broader shutdowns.
“We need to be vigilant in every corner of the city,” said de Blasio, “but I want to emphasize the vast majority of New York City is holding steady right now with low positivity levels, and we want to keep it that way.”
According to city data as of Sunday, more than 2,000 citywide COVID-19 compliance inspections of local businesses had been conducted, resulting in 26 violations and 883 warnings issued.