NYC mayor warns of bleak days ahead with coronavirus outbreak

The New York City mayor warned that there are dark days ahead as a new outbreak of the coronavirus affects the city.

"We have a couple of tough weeks ahead," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Wednesday morning.  "We have to all work together."

He made the assessment as he announced closures of non-essential businesses for "at least 14 days" in areas of the city starting on Thursday.  The rules affect hundreds of thousands of residents.

The closures and new rules will be in designated 'red zones" in Brooklyn and Queens.  He has also set up "orange zones" with other rules in communities that surround the red zones.

De Blasio also announced increased fines for non-compliance of COVID-19 rules.

Fines for mass gatherings in the affected areas will be up to $15,000.  The fines for not social distancing or refusing to wear a mask will be up to $1,000.

"We understand the frustrations people are feeling," de Blasio said.

Cuomo takes aim at houses of worship, mass gatherings

In the red zones, schools will close to in-person learning, only essential businesses could remain open, restaurants can only offer takeout, and houses of worship can only have 10 people inside at a time for services.

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In orange zones, schools also will be remote-only, restaurants can only offer outdoor dining, and businesses considered high risk will are ordered to close. Houses of worship can only have 25 people inside.

Red Zone — Cluster Itself

Houses of Worship: 25 percent capacity, 10 people maximum

Mass Gatherings: Prohibited

Businesses: Only essential businesses open

Dining: Takeout only

Schools: Closed, remote only

Orange Zone — Warning Zone

Houses of Worship: 33 percent capacity, 25 people maximum

Mass Gatherings: 10 people maximum, indoor and outdoor

Businesses: Closing high-risk non-essential businesses, such as gyms and personal care

Dining: Outdoor dining only, 4 person maximum per table

Schools: Closed, remote only

A mass protest developed overnight in Borough Park ahead of the new restrictions.  Hundreds of Orthodox Jewish men set fires in the street.  In one incident, the men burned face masks.

One man who was recording video of the events was beaten.

On Wednesday, the mayor said no violence would be tolerated.  There were no arrests at the overnight protest.

The city reported 512 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday with a 1.39% positivity rate.