New York City May Go to Orange Zone Very Soon, Mayor De Blasio Says
By Yehudit Garmaise
“There is a strong, strong likelihood that in a number of days, the state of New York will determine that New York City is an orange zone according to the state’s standards,” announced Mayor Bill de Blasio this morning at his press conference.
The mayor said that although he could not speak on the exact timing of the coming shutdowns, he is looking at the state’s numbers and “acknowledging their trajectory and basing on what the state has said already.”
The restrictions in Orange Zones closes schools, indoor dining, salons, gyms, and limits capacity inside houses of worship.
“The data and the science govern all our decisions,” the mayor said. “We saw these numbers rise. We made a decision based on the standards we put forward months ago, but now a new reality is coming into play.”
That reality is that, unfortunately, COVID rates are rising once more.
Yesterday, in a press conference Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not mention Brooklyn or Queens as micro-clusters, but he did announce that the rising COVID positivity rates of parts of Staten Island may make it necessary to soon declare that borough a red zone.
In addition, parts of Upper Manhattan and Long Island are likely to advance to yellow zones.
Although New York City may be soon declared an Orange Zone, the mayor is creating additional measures and protocols, such as increased testing, to re-open the public schools, as soon as possible.
Special needs students’ classrooms will have the first priority in re-opening, followed by Pre-K to 3rd grade, and higher elementary grades. Because COVID transmission tends to be higher in middle schools and high schools, those schools will be re-opened later.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office