New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that nonessential businesses and public and private schools will close Wednesday in nine zip codes across Brooklyn and Queens if it receives approval from the state. This will include include Far Rockaway/Edgemere, Gravesend/Homecrest, Midwood, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Flatlands/Midwood, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay, Kew Gardens, and Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonok. Coronavirus cases in the areas topped a 3% positivity rate over the past seven days.
The shutdowns would affect more than half a million residents. De Blasio added that the vast majority of the city has remained steady with low positivity levels and that the actions being taken in Brooklyn and Queens are to protect the entire city. In fact approximately 100 public and 200 non-public schools would be closed. In order for these communities to reopen, de Blasio said they have to either meet a positivity rate of less than 3% for the last seven consecutive days after a 14-day pause or less than 3% over a 14-day average at the end of a 28-day pause. New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring, and has suffered nearly 24,000 deaths from the disease.