Following confusion around the zoned closured in parts of Brooklyn and Queens due to a spike in COVID-cases earlier this week, the mayor’s office released an interactive map last night that allows businesses and residents to look up what zone they’re in.
Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a zoned shutdown plan for the affected parts of Brooklyn and Queens, sidestepping Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to enforce shutdowns based on ZIP codes. The shutdown is in effect starting today and will remain in place for at least two weeks, and potentially longer if the rise in COVID-19 cases is not brought under control.
The state’s shutdown plan includes three zones: red, orange, and yellow. The red zone currently includes parts of Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Kensington, Sheepshead Bay, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Far Rockaway. Restaurants in the city’s red zones are limited to take-out only.
The orange zone includes parts of Sunset Park and Brighton Beach, among other areas, where restaurants will be limited to outdoor dining with only four people allowed per table. Elsewhere in the city, 10 people are allowed at a table as part of the city’s outdoor dining program. Finally, in the yellow zone, indoor dining can continue along with outdoor dining, but once again there’s a limit of four people per table inside and out.
Cuomo and De Blasio have repeatedly stressed that the temporary shutdown measures are intended to prevent a full-blown spread of the virus, as was seen in March and April when New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. Yet the move comes as a setback for restaurants that have been struggling to stay afloat due the financial downturn caused by the pandemic.
“To shut down almost all of south Brooklyn and punish small businesses that have reopened safely will be an overwhelming setback to the borough’s economic recovery,” Randy Peers, the president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement.
The latest surge in COVID-19 cases was announced just days before the city’s return to indoor dining on September 30. Indoor dining had previously been delayed from its original start in July — everywhere else but NYC has had it since June — and the spike worried restaurant owners that another shutdown could be coming.
At the onset of indoor dining, the mayor’s office said it would reconsider indoor dining citywide if COVID-19 cases increase significantly. As the city’s positive tests rose, however, the mayor proposed a more focused, zip code-based closure, a measure that was backed by the state, albeit with a different approach.