Positive coronavirus tests in New York City recently went above 3%, causing Mayor Bill de Blasio to impose fines for those who do not wear masks in public.

Nine zip codes have seen a rise in coronavirus cases, including Brooklyn, Queens, and Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

From New York Daily News:

“For the first time in quite a while, the daily number is over 3% and that is cause for real concern,” de Blasio said at a press conference, noting that clusters in nine ZIP codes account for one in four coronavirus cases for the entire city.

“This is an inflection point,” he continued. “We have to take more action at this point and more serious action and we will be escalating with each day depending on what we see happening on the ground.”

Steps announced Tuesday include fines of up to $1,000 for people who refuse to wear masks in these neighborhoods: Gravesend/Homecrest, Midwood, Kew Gardens, Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Borough Park, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay and Flatlands/Midwood.

De Blasio said the city does “not want to fine people.” City workers will provide free masks for people.

If the person refuses the mask, then the city will issue them a fine of up to $1,000.

De Blasio also threatened private schools with closure if they “don’t follow rules such as mask use and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between individuals.”

The city will begin monthly random tests in schools next week. Almost half of the city’s schools chose to do remote learning.

The principals of the schools asked New York state to take over the school system, “alleging dangerous ineptitude by the de Blasio administration in its handling of the reopening of classes amid the coronavirus.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo again warned that his administration might take action:

“If those schools are not safe, I will not allow them to operate. Period,” Cuomo told reporters.

“The state can close down any school in the state of New York,” he said. “New York City, Buffalo, Long Island — you have my word as a parent, as a citizen, as your representative — if a school is not safe, I will not allow them to operate.”


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