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New COVID-19 Restrictions Announced for Parts of NYC

By: ALLAN NOSOFF | Editor-in-Chief

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a proposal Sunday that will close public and private schools, as well as non-essential businesses, to help stop the alarming spike in coronavirus cases.

Nine zip codes in New York City, 3 in Queens and 6 in Brooklyn, will go on pause beginning this Wednesday, pending approval from the state. The neighborhoods include Midwood, Borough Park, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay in Southern Brooklyn, where many LIU students live and commute to school from.

While LIU itself does not fall under the affected zip codes and will remain open, there are no rules in place that will prevent students from those high-impact areas from attending in-person classes at LIU. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 at LIU so far this semester have come from commuter students.

All public and private schools in the impacted areas, including Midwood, Madison and Murrow High Schools will shift to all-remote learning. Both indoor and outdoor dining will be banned, allowing restaurants to only offer pick-up or delivery. All non-essential businesses, including gyms, hair salons and spas, dance schools, theaters, bowling alleys, museums and shopping malls, will close.

Shuls, synagogues and other places of worship are not a part of the proposed shutdowns, despite large maskless congregations over the last few weeks that might have been 'super spreader events' for the holy holidays.

How long will the restrictions be in place? According to de Blasio, "There are two versions. The faster one is a 14-day pause." He also said, "The other scenario that we believe is quite plausible is a longer 28 day pause." For both scenarios de Blasio said, "the last seven days [must] be under 3% positivity."

In addition to the nine impacted zip codes, de Blasio mentioned 11 other zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens that have elevated coronavirus cases, but have not yet reached the 3% threshold for the 7-day rolling average. Indoor dining, gyms and pools will be banned there, but other non-essential businesses and schools will remain open for now. Those zip codes include neighborhoods closer to LIU including Bed-Stuy and Williamsburg.

De Blasio said that this is hopefully not a larger resurgence. "If we contain this situation in the nine key zip codes and the 11 on the watch list, we can stop this from spreading more deeply into New York City and we can stop this from being a quote-on-quote second wave."

How do you feel about the partial shutdowns as an LIU student who attends classes in person? Let us know by commenting at us on social media, @LIUBKNews on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And stay connected with us for the latest updates!

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