City will begin enforcement of COVID-19 clusters in Queens and Brooklyn Thursday: Mayor

Photo via Twitter/@NYGovCuomo

Restrictions on non-essential businesses, schools, houses of worship and gatherings in all COVID cluster zones in Brooklyn and Queens will start tomorrow, Oct. 8, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.

In response to increasing coronavirus cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a series of restrictions in some Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods, as well as in some city suburbs. Each cluster zone is has a mile-long radius, the governor said, and have been broken down into three color-coded levels based on infection rates with restrictions varying by level.

Red: These are areas where the number of residents testing positive for the virus has been above 3 percent for the last seven days with the boundary depending on density of cases. All public and private schools are temporarily closed in in red zones and all non-essential businesses will be closed beginning Thursday morning. Mass gatherings are forbidden and houses of worship are open at 25 percent capacity with a maximum of 10 people. Restaurants are takeout only.

Orange: Schools and high-risk businesses like gyms in orange zones will be closed beginning Thursday morning. Gatherings are limited to 10 people or less and although outdoor dining is still an option for restaurants a maximum of four people are allowed at tables. Houses of worship will be open at 33 percent with a maximum of 25 people inside.

Yellow: Schools in yellow zones will be open but students and staff will be tested for the virus every week. Businesses are allowed to stay open but officials urge caution. Owners should enforce mask-wearing and keep all patrons six feet apart. Indoor and outdoor dining are available in these areas, but like in orange zones, only four people are allowed at a table. Houses of worship may remain open but can only allow 50 percent of their normal capacity inside at any given time.

Over 1,200 city personnel are in COVID hot spot neighborhoods spreading flyers outlining restrictions on businesses today, the mayor said. Members of the Department of Transportation are currently emailing all restaurants with outdoor dining in red and orange zones explaining restrictions on seating. Outdoor electric signage, like LinkNYC’s, will soon display messages about zone restrictions, homes will be flooded with robocalls, and the sheriff’s office and the office of nightlife will conduct targeted outreach.

The city is also currently creating a tool where New Yorkers can type in their address to check to see if they live in any of the three zones. It is unclear when such a tool will be online.

This story originally appeared on amny.com

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