Schools to Close in Nine COVID-19 Hot Spots with Non-Essential Businesses To Follow
In a nutshell: Public and Private schools within the 9 hotspot zip codes will close beginning on Wednesday, October 6. One day earlier than the Mayor had originally proposed yesterday. It’s unclear when non-essential businesses would close due to the Governor’s concerns over the drawing of affected areas’ boundaries. Yet, it’s clear that the intention to do so is there on the part of the Mayor and the Governor.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that schools in the most hardest hit COVID-19 sections of the city would be closed beginning tomorrow.
NY Governor Cuomo had made the same announcement during his own briefing earlier in the day.
The announcement comes a day after he introduced a proposal to curb the COVID-19 spread. Under that plan schools were to have closed on Wednesday within the 9 hotspot zip codes.
These zip codes with infection rates above 3% include: 11691, 11219, 11223, 11230, 11204, 11210, 11229, 11415 & 11367.
The Mayor also stated that a zip code (11375 in Forest Hills, Queens) was added to the 11 listed yesterday. The 11 zip codes are: 11205, 11211, 11249, 11235, 11234, 11213, 11218, 11374, 11366, 11432, 11365.
Part of the Mayor’s plan included the closure of nonessential businesses and activities within the 9 zip codes on Wednesday. It would seem like this was still ready to go ahead as per the Mayor’s statements.
“The proposal I put on the table is the basis of discussion, nine ZIP codes, close all non-essential businesses,” said the Mayor. “The Governor’s team are considering evasive alterations they want to make to that geography or to the approach, but until we hear otherwise, our plan is to move ahead Wednesday morning with enforcement in those nine ZIP of all non-essential businesses. We will continue to work with the State in the meantime to get to a final resolution.”
When asked about this by a member of the press, “I’m saying until there is a different plan (closures of non-essential businesses), we are preparing to implement this plan.”
Yet thereafter, a follow-up question which brought up the Governor’s earlier concerns about the closing of such businesses had the Mayor saying the following:
“We obviously will follow state law, and if the State does not authorize restrictions. We’re not going to act, but I find that very unlikely at this point. Governor has been very clear, you know, we have a problem.”
Related to this are the concerns expressed by the Governor about zip codes and which weren’t truly representative of those businesses which needed to be closed as opposed to those which would suffer needlessly.
Governor Cuomo’s response to a relevant question:
“On the non-essential businesses, also on the schools, we all agreed we need to do a better template than a zip code. A zip code is not the best definition of the applicable zone. You have information beyond the zip code level. You have addresses, you have census-track data. So if you have to draw – circumscribe an area, make sure you have the right boundaries and before you make a determination about central businesses or not, make sure you have the right geographic area – because you will be closing businesses and if you don’t do it right, it’ll just be arbitrary and capricious and then they’ll bring you into court and they’ll say, because I happen to be in the zip code and one side of the street the deli’s open and the other side of the street the deli’s closed. What sense does that make? All you’re doing is bringing the people across the street. So, what is the best area. Once we have that done then I don’t have a problem with closing the essential businesses.”
This evening, the Mayor posted a tweet to Twitter indicating the following:
“”We plan to close nonessential businesses in those ZIP codes on Wednesday morning. We are working with our State partners to finalize that plan.””
We plan to close nonessential businesses in those ZIP codes on Wednesday morning. We are working with our State partners to finalize that plan.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 6, 2020