With rising coronavirus cases spiking in hotspots across parts of NYC, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced strict new restrictions this week.
While the overall New York rate remains low at just over 1 percent, Queens and the South Brooklyn have seen infections spiking in clustered areas.
The new set of rules, called the "Cluster Action Plan" will shut down schools, restaurants, bars and gyms in portions of Brooklyn and Queens, in an effort to contain the outbreaks.
"A cluster is just that - it's a cluster of cases, a high density of cases, and it seeps and grows from that cluster almost in concentric circles,” Governor Cuomo said.
"Step one, you take the most dramatic action within the cluster itself where you have the highest density of cases. Understanding that the people in that cluster interface with the surrounding communities, take additional action in the communities surrounding the cluster. Then as a precautionary measure, take action in the communities that are outlying that area."
The city released maps to show how they will handle cluster outbreaks going forward, the zoned shutdowns are mapped out by red, orange and yellow zones.
In neighborhoods classified as "red zones," mass gatherings will be prohibited, only essential businesses will be open, restaurants and bars will be take-out only and schools have closed.
In orange zones, mass gatherings will be capped at 10 people, gyms and personal care will still need to close, dining is to be outdoors only (four people per table) and schools are already closed.
Yellow zones will cap mass gatherings at 25 people maximum. Businesses and both indoor and outdoor dining can remain open (four person max per table,) and schools remain open with mandatory weekly testing.
The South Brooklyn cluster (the largest of all current clusters) impacts more than 500,000 residents in just the red zone alone.
The Queens cluster is centered around the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Forest Hills and Kew Gardens Hills.
The Far Rockaway Cluster includes neighborhoods from Edgemere to Inwood.
The zoned shutdowns will go into effect as soon as today and last for at least 14 days.
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