For the first time in months, New York City’s daily coronavirus infection rate is more than 3 percent — fueled by hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday as he vowed to ramp up enforcement.
“The fact is for the first time in quite a while, the daily number is over 3 percent and that is cause for concern,” de Blasio said during his daily City Hall press briefing.
Hizzoner said that primarily nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens have driven the daily positivity rate up to 3.25 percent, according to the latest city data.
Those hot spots – which include Gravesend/Homecrest, Midwood, Kew Gardens, Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Borough Park, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Gerritsen Beach/Sheepshead Bay, and Flatlands – account for 25 percent of all coronavirus cases citywide over the past two weeks.
De Blasio threatened that if progress is not made, the city will move to roll back the reopening efforts in those areas, including the shuttering of non-essential businesses, banning large gatherings and closing private schools.
“It is a situation at this point that is very serious and we have to have all options on the table,” de Blasio said.
The mayor noted that though the daily COVID-19 infection rate spiking, the citywide infection rate based on a seven-day rolling average is 1.38 percent, according to the latest city data.
If the infection rate soars past 3 percent on a seven-day rolling average then Big Apple public schools would close for in-person learning under city standards.
“We’re seeing a different situation than we’ve ever experienced,” de Blasio said, adding, “Nine zip codes out of 146 – the geography is very specific.”
De Blasio urged Big Apple residents, specifically those in the neighborhoods where infection rates are spiking, to get tested for COVID-19.
“We need a lot more people to get tested,” he said. “We need the whole truth…the more testing that happens the clearer picture we get.”
The city is beefing up community outreach in the hot spot areas with more testing and hundreds of additional city personnel handing out face masks, de Blasio said.
“Anyone who is not wearing a face covering will be offered one, will be reminded it is required and anyone who refuses will be told if they don’t, they will be fined,” he said.
De Blasio explained that private schools and child care centers will close if they don’t meet Department of Education standards under an amended order by the city’s health commissioner.
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