In an emergency briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Governor Cuomo gave the city the go-ahead to restrict indoor dining (and in some cases, indoor and outdoor dining) in 22 clusters of Brooklyn and Queens starting Friday. The Governor created a chart called the Cluster Action Initiative that implements three tiers of restrictions, based on an area’s proximity to a hotspot. Mayor de Blasio’s plan, which was introduced last Sunday, was initially organized by zip codes.
Covid-19 has been on a consecutive, seven-day rise in areas of Brooklyn and Queens. As of Monday, the city at large had a positive test rate of 1.83%. Meanwhile, nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens have reported daily positive test rates between 3% and 8%. 13 other zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens have maintained positivity rates between 2%-3%.
In response, Mayor de Blasio proposed emergency restrictions that would force some restaurants in hotspots to revert back to takeout-only, based on zip codes. Cuomo rejected that plan, and came up with his own.
According to Cuomo’s new plan, restaurants in red zone hotspots will be limited to takeout-only, while spots in their immediate surrounding areas will be limited to outdoor dining with a four-person maximum per table. Restaurants located within the yellow ring of hotspots may continue indoor and outdoor dining, but with a four-person maximum per table. You can find the zoning maps in the Governor’s Twitter thread, and search an address or intersection here to see if it falls into one of the three zones.
The Governor insisted that the city needs to notify businesses of the rules before they begin enforcing. Restaurant owners may be rightfully confused, especially because the Mayor and the Governor are basically playing policy ping pong.
Just one day prior, Governor Cuomo rejected De Blasio’s plan to close down indoor and outdoor dining based on zip codes, pointing out that a diner in one hotspot zip code could simply cross the street to eat in a zip code without dining restrictions. “We all agree that we need to create a better template than a zip code...If you don’t do it right, it will just be arbitrary.” The Cluster Action Initiative seems to be the solution, since it includes implementing restrictions on communities directly surrounding hotspot clusters.
photo credit: Queens Zoning Map, From Cuomo's Twitter
These new rules can go into effect as soon as Thursday, based on the local government’s communication and enforcement, but must start no later than Friday. The restrictions also limit mass gatherings, religious institutions, and gyms.
We’ll continue to update you as more news comes out.
9 Zip Codes Reporting Daily Positive Test Rates Between 3% and 8%
photo credit: Emily Ng
11691 - Far Rockaway
11219 - Borough Park
11204 - Bensonhurst/ Mapleton
11223 - Gravesend
11229 - Sheepshead Bay/ Homecrest
11230 - Midwood/ West Midwood
11210 - Flatlands/ Midwood
11367 - Kew Gardens Hills/ Pomonok
11415 - Kew Gardens
13 Zip Codes Maintaining Positivity Rates Between 2% and 3%
11249 - Williamsburg
11211 - Williamsburg/ East Williamsburg
11206 South Williamsburg (Added Tuesday)
11213 East Crown Heights (Added Tuesday)
11205 - Bed-Stuy/ Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill
11374 - Rego Park
11365 - Auburndale/ Fresh Meadows
11366 - Fresh Meadows/ Hillcrest
11432 - Jamaica Hills/ Jamaica Estates
11218 - Kensington/ Windsor Terrace
11234 - Flatlands/ Marine Park/ Bergen Beach
11235 - Brighton Beach/ Manhattan Beach/ Sheepshead Bay