Cuomo says gatherings in houses of worship contributed to the spike in cases
Just ahead of the fall flu season, areas of New York City are going to return to lockdown. According to Bloomberg.com, “hotspots” or parts of the city that are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases must close by the end of the week.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday the “Cluster Action Initiative,” which will categorize the city by color zones instead of specifying neighborhoods that are seeing an abundance of Covid-19 cases.
“These are geographically circumscribed, relatively small, but that’s why they’re clusters,” said Cuomo. “The trick is to keep them small.” The color clusters will be approximately one mile in diameter in size.
Red will represent the “intense action” area. Local government officials will be provided with maps in order to see how their area is classified.
In red areas, all mass gatherings will be prohibited, churches are only allowed to open at 25% capacity, schools will only be remote and restaurants will be takeout only.
In orange areas, churches are allowed up to 25 people, dining will be limited to outdoors only, gatherings of any kind will be reduced to 10 people or less and high-risk businesses like gyms and hair salons are to close.
Yellow areas are the least restricted. In these districts, schools can stay open with mandatory weekly testing, businesses can stay open and there will be minor restaurant restrictions.
Cuomo says the new restrictions are partially due to large gatherings at houses of worship. He added there will be 450 New York City police officers on the ground to enforce the lockdown.
“In New York City, the first rules weren’t enforced,” Cuomo said. “Houses of worship weren’t supposed to have more than 50 people. They’ve had hundreds.”
This decision comes after New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut started seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. Bloomberg says out of 96,000 tests reported in New York on Monday, 1,393 were positive.
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