Schools closed in New York to prevent second wave

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that schools in nine New York City neighborhoods will close as of Tuesday in an attempt to prevent the city from being hit by a second wave of coronavirus, pending a decision on non-essential businesses.

• Read also: All developments in the COVID-19 pandemic

• Read also: New York wants to reconfigure nine neighborhoods to break second wave

The main political leader of New York State has brought forward a date proposed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who on Sunday announced his intention to close these schools as of Wednesday.

These are neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn, and a few areas in eastern and southern Queens, where the rate of positive coronavirus cases has been above the 3% threshold for more than seven days.

The measure concerns public schools, but also private, said the governor during a press briefing.

The plan unveiled by the mayor on Sunday also called for the temporary closure of all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, which have reopened in New York since June 22.

The governor refused to follow him, at least for the time being, pleading for a more targeted approach than postal codes, the division used by the town hall, and asking for additional data to be able to decide.

Andrew Cuomo also argued that closing non-essential businesses was not the priority to contain the spread of the virus. “Businesses [de ces quartiers] do not have a significant propagation capacity, ”he said. “We are talking about small businesses.”

Many businesses have already had to close, weighed down by the pandemic and the containment of the spring, while many others are holding, but are very fragile.

“Unless there is a counter-order, we will put our plan in place on Wednesday” in these nine districts with the orderly closure of all non-essential businesses, retorted, a little later, Bill de Blasio, Andrew Cuomo’s best enemy, although ‘they are both Democrats.

Two of those neighborhoods have positive case rates above 8% over the past seven days, figures released Monday, and like the other four in Brooklyn, include a strong Orthodox Jewish community. The epidemic resumed there thanks to gatherings for the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Across New York State, the rate of positive cases remains low at 1.22%.

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