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City Will Shut Down Nonessential Businesses in Far Rockaway if COVID Cases Increase Further

Dr. Dave Chokshi, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

Sept. 25, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The city is threatening to shut down nonessential businesses and limit gatherings in neighborhoods with coronavirus clusters if cases continue to rise.

Kew Gardens and Far Rockaway, along with several neighborhoods in Brooklyn, are in danger of a second shutdown if the cases don’t decline by Monday, the Health Department said yesterday.

The city will shutdown nonessential businesses and private schools in those zipcodes if the numbers don’t fall. The city would also ban gatherings of 10 or more people in those areas.

The enforcement measures could come as early as Tuesday, NBC News reported.

They come as cases continue to climb in the cluster areas.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Kew Gardens reached 3.99 percent Thursday, while Far Rockaway-Edgemere rose to 4.08 percent.

The city is doing a number of enforcement and education efforts to address the growing trends in each hotspot, which also includes Williamsburg, Borough Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst in Brooklyn.

The Health Department will begin regular inspections of all private schools within the troublesome neighborhoods and adjacent ZIP codes on Friday.

The NYPD and Sheriff deputies will also ramp up mask enforcement — which the health department said is “overwhelmingly low” in the cluster areas compared to the rest of the city.

The city will also continue its public education campaign on COVID-19, distribute free masks and hand sanitizer and roll out mobile testing sites.

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