Closures possible in NYC if COVID clusters not contained: Health Dept.

New York City health department officials are warning the residents of nine neighborhoods that they could see shutdowns of schools and non-essential businesses and other restrictions if COVID-19 cases continue to rise over the weekend.

There has been a concerning uptick of coronavirus cases in the area dubbed by city officials the 'Ocean Parkway cluster.' The neighborhoods include much of southern Brooklyn and Williamsburg, Kew Gardens and Edgemere-Far Rockaway in Queens.

The outbreaks are predominantly in ultra Jewish orthodox communities.

Specific areas include Gravesend/Homecrest (6.0%), Midwood, (4.95), Edgemere Far Rockaway (4.08%), Kew Gardens (3.99%), Borough Park (3.53%), Bensonhurst/Mapleton (3.16%), Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay (3.07%), Flatlands/Midwood (3.06%) and Williamsburg (1.67%).

There has been a concerning uptick of coronavirus cases in the area dubbed by city officials the 'Ocean Parkway cluster.'

Starting Friday, there will be regular inspections of all non-public schools in the cluster zone and the adjacent zip codes.

If cases continue to rise, the city is considering banning all gatherings of more than 10 people, and issuing fines to those refusing to wear a mask when offered.

“If the indicators continue to rise, there must be additional enforcement actions,” said the health department. “For the first time in the city’s recovery period, there could be the immediate scaling back of activities in these ZIP codes if progress is not made by Monday evening.”

Robocalls will be made in those communities direct mailings will go next week. Sound trucks and multiple ambulances are being used to announce messages about testing in English and Yiddish.

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