Governor Andrew Cuomo released an updated list of 20 zip codes in which the state has tightened health restrictions following a dramatic spike in COVID cases on Wednesday.
The 20 zip codes have a combined daily positivity rate of 5.5%, five times higher than the positivity rate statewide, Cuomo said. The daily positivity rate for New York stands at 1.02% today.
Fourteen of the clustered neighborhoods are located in New York City in all five boroughs: seven in Brooklyn, two in the Bronx, two in Queens, two in Staten Island, and one in Manhattan.
Areas with spikes in coronavirus cases include Rockland and Orange counties, as well as parts of southern Brooklyn, home to a large community of Orthodox Jews.
The governor criticized local officials in the Big Apple for failing to enforce the wearing of masks and limiting religious gatherings, for which he threatened to create a state-led task force made up of state troopers and members of the NYPD to enforce the rules.
“If they don’t want to enforce the law, I will enforce the law,” the president said. “And I will fine people who do not wear masks, because that will save lives right now.”
The city’s Sheriff’s Office shut down a wedding of nearly 300 people in Queens on Friday, and the NYPD interrupted large gatherings at synagogues early in the crisis, though officials have struggled to enforce physical distancing in the Orthodox community, especially in funeral processions. Currently the state allows gatherings of only 50 people abroad.
The surge in cases in New York City has sparked a torrent of criticism from Cuomo. In an interview with NY1 on Tuesday, the president raised the issue of NYPD officers not wearing a mask in public, something residents have questioned.
But Mayor Bill de Blasio defended himself, saying the police commissioner had instructed all police officers to wear masks.
“I have traveled the city and observed that the vast majority [de los oficiales de policía] they are, in fact, wearing face masks, “the mayor said.