For a lot of weeks, public well being officers had expressed concern {that a} second wave of the coronavirus would hit New York Metropolis, which had till not too long ago had hanging success in beating again the outbreak after a devastating spring that left greater than 20,000 residents useless.

On Sunday, with those fears growing, Mayor Invoice de Blasio introduced an emergency crackdown, saying that he meant to impose new restrictions in 20 sizzling spots in Brooklyn and Queens which were experiencing rising positivity charges.

The plan is a serious setback for New York Metropolis, amounting to the primary vital reversal in the reopening for the reason that pandemic started and providing additional proof of the challenges in curbing it. Town in current weeks had taken a number of strides ahead, permitting indoor eating for the primary time and turning into the primary main college district within the nation to deliver kids again into its public faculties.

However beneath the brand new restrictions, Mr. de Blasio would shut all faculties — private and non-private — in 9 of town’s 146 ZIP codes, in addition to all nonessential companies. Indoor and outside eating in eating places won’t be allowed.

“At present, sadly, will not be a day for celebration,” Mr. de Blasio stated. “At present is a tougher day.”

The 9 neighborhoods have large populations of Orthodox Jews — communities the place the virus has been spreading quickly and the place public well being officers have struggled to influence many residents to stick to tips like masks sporting and social distancing.

These areas all have had positivity charges in current days of greater than 3 % — and a few as excessive as 8 % — in distinction to town’s total price of about 1.5 %. Public well being officers have been frightened that the uptick in circumstances would leap from Orthodox neighborhoods to others, resulting in a resurgence of the virus throughout town.

In one other 11 ZIP codes, town would enable faculties to stay open however would ban indoor eating, the mayor stated.

If accepted by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the plan would go into impact on Wednesday. Orthodox leaders didn’t supply an instantaneous response to the restrictions. Jews have been observing the vacation of Sukkot on Sunday, and most of the leaders didn’t reply to messages.

Many of the faculties set to shut are nonpublic faculties, largely yeshivas in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods which were open for weeks. About 200 personal faculties will shut, in addition to 100 public faculties, officers stated.

The brand new restrictions come simply days after the city’s system, which has about 1,800 public schools, fully reopened. Youngsters returned to elementary college school rooms on Tuesday, and to center and excessive faculties on Thursday. Principals and academics have been working for months to arrange for in-person studying.

Well being officers and Metropolis Corridor first began speaking in earnest about closing down elements of town on Friday, as well being indicators continued to worsen, a Metropolis Corridor official stated. In his remarks on Sunday, the mayor emphasised that the college closures weren’t prompted by outbreaks in public faculties, however got here “out of an abundance of warning.”

“We now have seen little or no coronavirus exercise in our faculties,” he stated.

He stated the virus spikes seemed to be confined to the ZIP codes he was focusing on. “There doesn’t need to be a second wave,” Mr. de Blasio stated. “The very fact is that these communities are experiencing an issue.”

There have been mounting considerations for weeks about transmission in yeshivas, which educate tens of hundreds of kids and play an important function in Orthodox Jewish life in New York Metropolis. As early as Could, when town was nonetheless beneath a lockdown, a big yeshiva in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was shuttered for violating the ban on in-person education.

And final month, town ordered two yeshivas to shut after outbreaks have been detected. Some folks within the Orthodox group, which incorporates a number of Hasidic teams, have privately raised considerations about social distancing and masks compliance in yeshiva buildings.

The 9 ZIP codes topic to essentially the most extreme restrictions embrace parts of Far Rockaway and Kew Gardens in Queens, and Borough Park, Midwood, Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. The restrictions would final for 2 to 4 weeks, if not longer, relying on the success of efforts to curb the virus, the mayor stated.

Town can also be intently watching the 11 further ZIP codes, which Mr. de Blasio described as a “actual concern.”

They embrace elements of Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Manhattan Seaside, Bergen Seaside, Kensington and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. The Queens neighborhoods embrace Rego Park, Recent Meadows, Hillcrest and Jamaica Estates.

Metropolis officers stated a federal court docket order requires them to maintain homes of worship open within the metropolis, even within the 9 ZIP codes. Nevertheless, they’re topic to 50 % capability limits.

“Moreover, we are going to solely enable particular person worship, however not congregate or group providers,” stated Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

Mr. de Blasio stated he deliberate to work with the state on enforcement measures. He stated he was not sure concerning the particulars, however that “we would like the utmost training, most masks distribution, most enforcement.”

Requested whether or not transmission out of the affected ZIP codes was a serious concern, Mr. de Blasio stated that to this point it had not been.

“We’re clearly going to look at fastidiously to see if folks shifting round from group to group is having an impact,” Mr. de Blasio stated. “However up to now we don’t see that occuring on a large scale.”

Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist at George Mason College, stated closing companies on the neighborhood degree may work to tamp down on the virus, however that it will not be simple.

“Shutdowns are difficult, and focused ones have proven each execs and cons,” Dr. Popescu stated. “The onerous half is absolutely speaking with folks so that you simply’re not pushing them to hunt sources outdoors that affected space and probably simply pushing that ring additional.”

Mr. Cuomo supplied no fast touch upon whether or not he would approve Mr. de Blasio’s plan. The 2 have a combative relationship, and have typically feuded over how to answer the outbreak.

However as Mr. de Blasio was making his announcement, Mr. Cuomo did situation an announcement that criticized unnamed native officers across the state for his or her failure to curb the virus.

“Native governments haven’t accomplished an efficient job of enforcement in these sizzling spot ZIP codes,” Mr. Cuomo stated.

In his assertion, he made no point out of whether or not the same lockdown could be adopted in parts of Rockland and Orange Counties, north of town.

Each have giant populations of Orthodox Jews and have seen sharply rising positivity charges in current days. Some ZIP codes in these areas have positivity charges double or triple these of sizzling spots in New York Metropolis.

Mr. de Blasio’s proposal satisfies a serious demand from town’s academics’ union, which in current days has referred to as on the mayor to shut public faculties in neighborhoods the place the virus is surging, fairly than permitting the positivity price to climb sufficient to close down your entire college system.

The variety of coronavirus circumstances within the affected areas of Brooklyn and Queens has been rising for weeks, particularly in Orthodox Jewish communities. Native leaders stated that surge was pushed by denialism, wishful considering round herd immunity and misinformation unfold by President Trump, who in 2016 carried some precincts in these neighborhoods with greater than 80 % of the vote.

The Orthodox Jewish group within the metropolis was devastated by the virus within the spring, when native leaders and media retailers estimated that a whole lot could have died. However as case numbers started to recede in the summertime, many appeared to imagine that the group had developed herd immunity.

Public well being officers stated there was no proof of that, however mistrust of the secular authorities runs deep within the Orthodox group.

As of now, Brooklyn’s Borough Park and Gravesend have positivity charges hovering round 8 %. In Midwood, roughly 7 % are testing constructive.

In current weeks, Orthodox leaders in Brooklyn have faulted town authorities for what they contended was meager and inconsistent efforts to have interaction in group outreach.

“It is a group the place lots of people imagine they’ve already had the virus, lots of people imagine they’ve herd immunity, so that they actually imagine they don’t have to get examined,” Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein of Brooklyn stated final month. “That’s the reason it’s so necessary to speak with folks on the bottom.”

In Borough Park, a part of New York’s Hasidic Jewish heartland, visits final month revealed that masks have been virtually absent from the crowded streets, and unauthorized indoor eating had resumed, typically in secret.

Town well being division first sounded the alarm about the escalating number of cases in these neighborhoods in late September and stated that if case numbers didn’t start to say no it will take aggressive motion, together with the closure of colleges and companies.

That menace sparked a backlash within the Orthodox group but in addition spurred a flurry of group motion that led to a visual enhance in mask-wearing on the road final week.

On Friday, a whole lot of individuals gathered on one of many principal procuring streets in Borough Park to choose up free masks being distributed by the Boro Park Jewish Neighborhood Council, which gave out greater than 400,000 in lower than two hours.

Joseph Goldstein contributed reporting.



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