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New York imposes new restrictions in virus-surge areas

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Oct 07, 2020 - 05:03 AM

WASHINGTON — New York’s governor announced Tuesday tough new restrictions in several areas recording high infection rates to try to ward off a second coronavirus wave.

Andrew Cuomo ordered non-essential businesses, including gyms and restaurants, closed in parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.

The governor also banned mass gatherings and capped at ten the number of people allowed in places of worship in the so-called red zones witnessing “clusters” of infections.

The restrictions will come into effect from Wednesday and will be reviewed after 14 days.

They represent a depressing setback in the reopening of New York, which was the epicenter of America’s COVID-19 outbreak several months back.

Cuomo blamed the infection spike on a let-up in enforcement of social distancing measures and reminded residents to keep wearing masks.

“It’s no time to be fatigued. The virus isn’t tired,” he told reporters.

The areas, which also include a few outside of New York City, are about one mile in diameter.

On Monday, Cuomo announced that schools in nine New York City neighborhoods would temporarily close.

They are in areas where the rate of positive cases has been above the three percent threshold for more than seven days.

Two of the neighborhoods have recorded positive rates above eight percent.

The areas include large Orthodox Jewish communities, where residents recently marked the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.

Across New York state, the rate of positive cases remains low at 1.20 percent.

The virus has killed more than 33,000 people across the state.

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