Schools closing again in Brooklyn and Queens

The governor will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders on Tuesday in NYC to discuss recent COVID outbreaks.
The governor will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders on Tuesday in NYC to discuss recent COVID outbreaks.
Anna Kristiana Dave/Shutterstock
The governor will meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders on Tuesday in NYC to discuss recent COVID outbreaks.

Schools closing again in Brooklyn and Queens

Coronavirus hot spots will face additional restrictions to avoid a wider citywide outbreak.
October 5, 2020

The state is tightening public health restrictions for the first time since the reopening process began months ago, with public and private schools closing tomorrow for an undetermined period of time in areas of Brooklyn and Queens where the coronavirus is spreading at alarming rates. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement on Monday, one day after Mayor Bill de Blasio requested schools and businesses in those areas be closed by Wednesday. 

Nonessential businesses and unspecified “public spaces” will still be allowed to operate for the time being and houses of worship will be unaffected, Cuomo added after saying officials wanted to first evaluate the use of ZIP codes as the geographic boundaries of the new restrictions. A new state task force will enforce social distancing restrictions in the affected areas, with the help of city health inspectors and the New York City Police Department, according to Cuomo.

“NYPD should be enforcing it now,” Cuomo said of issuing fines to people not wearing masks on the streets of the area. This would follow the controversial police enforcement of social distancing from a few months ago when the NYPD broke up a rabbi’s funeral and intervened in other mass gatherings in predominantly Orthodox Jewish areas of Brooklyn.

The governor said he would meet with Orthodox Jewish leaders on Tuesday in New York City and in the Hudson Valley. Schools and businesses in Orange and Rockland counties will remain open, though coronavirus cases are rising in some areas there at faster rates than in New York City. Cuomo said the current state effort is focusing on New York City because there is the greater potential for a cluster to erupt into a wider outbreak. That measured approach will be tested in the upcoming days.

Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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