Cuomo eases restrictions in Brooklyn and Queens COVID ‘clusters’ but keeps many completely closed as he blames increased cases on people refusing to wear masks and says he’s no more sorry for Orthodox Jews than ‘any other New Yorkers’
- Several neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queen have re-entered phases of lockdown due to high numbers of COVID-19
- All of the Brooklyn neighborhoods are south of Prospect Park and some many are home to large Orthodox Jewish communities
- Others in Queens are also on lockdown but not as severely
- Cuomo on Wednesday refused to apologize to the communities for the disruption, saying it was down to a failure to comply with the rules
- The state wide infection rate in New York is 1.6 but in the clusters it is 6.6
Governor Cuomo is easing lockdown restrictions in some of the Brooklyn and Queens COVID-19 ‘clusters’ that are driving New York’s infection rate up but keeping many closed in an effort to clamp down on the surge.
In Brooklyn, every neighborhood south of Prospect Park is in at least one phase of lockdown.
Most can now enter the ‘yellow zone’ which allows for religious gatherings at a capacity of 50 percent, resume indoor and outdoor dining following state rules and businesses are allowed to reopen.
There are no more ‘orange zones’ but central south Brooklyn – including Borough Park, Mapleton, and Midwood – remain ‘red’ which means non-essential businesses there are closed, schools are remote only and religious gathering can happen but only at 25 percent of a worship hall’s capacity or less.
In north Queens, some places have entered ‘yellow zones’ too.
To check a zip code for which zone it is in, click here.
The neighborhoods where non-essential businesses and schools are now closed are predominantly home to Orthodox Jewish communities who have complained for weeks that they are being unfairly targeted by the government.
The new lockdown restrictions in Brooklyn. The red zone is where non-essential businesses remain closed. Yellow, which is now most of south Brooklyn, can resume indoor and outdoor dining and businesses can reopen
The infection rates in the red zones’ is now coming down and on a 7-day average, it was below 6 percent in all of them
Cuomo on Wednesday refused to apologize to them and said the spikes are down to a refusal to comply with social distancing rules and mask wearing.
The overall infection rate in New York State is 1.6 percent, the highest it has been since June. However, hospitalizations and deaths remain low.
In the red zone clusters, the positivity rate is higher than 6 percent.
Cuomo refused to apologize to the Jewish communities who say they are being unfairly targeted.
Cuomo on Wednesday refused to apologize for the rules
‘I am sorry that they feel the disruption. Well, let me state it more clearly – I am sorry that they are disrupted. How many people they can have in a synagogue is disrupted. The operation of their schools is disrupted – I am sorry for that in the same way I’m sorry to the Catholic community and Muslim community and all New Yorkers.
‘I am sorry we are going through this, I’m sorry people are dying. I’m sorry the state has to impose disruptions on your life and we had to close your business.
‘I am sorry for all those things.
‘Do I believe we could have communicated the rules of social distancing and mask wearing more than we communicated them?
‘I am sure it’s possible but I don’t know what else we could have done to communicate the social distancing requirements.
‘I did it every day in every manner shape or form.
‘We have a problem because people did not comply,’ he said.
Cuomo also ruled out ever placing New Jersey, Connecticut or Pennsylvania on New York’s mandatory quarantine list because, he said, it would be ‘impossible to enforce’.
‘It would be enormously disruptive to the economy and impossible to enforce.
‘How many doctors live in New Jersey and work in New York? How many doctors? We don’t have the personnel to enforce border patrols on our roads.
‘We have state police that are already tremendously over burdened,’ he said.
Cuomo said he would not apologize specifically to Jewish communities for shutting down their communities again and said the fact they had to re-enter lockdown was down to lack of compliance