Coronavirus: New York mayor announces shutdown plan for nine neighborhoods

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday he planned to put nine neighborhoods back under tight shutdowns as Covid-19 cases rise in the city, which had largely controlled the pandemic after a catastrophic outbreak.

“Today, unfortunately, is not a day for celebration,” de Blasio said, announcing he would ask to close nonessential businesses and all schools in nine neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens.

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The proposal, which must be approved by state Governor Andrew Cuomo, marks the first major setback in the city’s reopening since it was hit hard by the coronavirus in March.

New York City has lost almost 24,000 people to the virus.

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Several of the nine neighborhoods have large populations of Orthodox Jews, and the virus has been spreading rapidly in that community in recent weeks.

The increases coincided with the Jewish High Holidays, the most holy days in the Jewish calendar, that culminated last Monday with Yom Kippur.

De Blasio said he intended to “rewind” the city’s reopening in the worst-affected areas, according to the New York Times.

The city is also monitoring 11 additional ZIP codes that de Blasio described as a “real concern.”

New York became the global epicenter of the pandemic in spring. But more recently, officials had touted the lowest test positivity rate and infection rate among major US cities.

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