New York City’s reopening efforts are experiencing a major setback. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new restrictions in the city’s COVID -19 hotspots. These new restrictions include closing schools — both public and private — in nine of the city’s hardest-hit zip codes.
The Second Wave
New York City was one of the most heavily impacted places in the U.S. in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the months since the city recovered with strong regulations and consistent government response. However, as New York City has gradually reopened, certain areas are experiencing an alarming resurgence of the disease. The nine areas now have positivity rates in recent days between 3 percent and 8 percent. The city’s overall rate is around 1.5 percent.
The nine neighborhoods that will essentially go back into a total lockdown are Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Borough Park, Gravesend/Homecrest, Midwood, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Flatlands/Midwood, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay, Kew Gardens, and Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonok.
The neighborhoods now facing additional regulations are largely in Brooklyn and Queens. Many of the neighborhoods have large Orthodox Jewish communities. These further lockdowns are leading to some tense feelings between these communities and New York’s government.
Both public and private schools are closing Wednesday, pending Governor Cuomo’s approval. This means that New York City parents will once again be responsible for the bulk of both childcare and education in the coming weeks. It’s a considerable whiplash for both children and their families. Especially given that New York City schools all completely reopened late last week.
In addition to schools closing, all other non-essential businesses are also facing closures. This means that in these nine zip codes there will be no indoor or outdoor dining for at least the next three weeks. If numbers don’t improve, these new restrictions will remain in place even longer.