Coronavirus News: Hot spot changes made in Brooklyn, but mayor still warns of '2nd wave'

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Monday, November 9, 2020
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While Governor Andrew Cuomo announced improvement in Brooklyn's hot spot zone, Mayor Bill de Blasio is still warning of a "second wave."

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- While Governor Andrew Cuomo announced improvement in Brooklyn's hot spot zone, Mayor Bill de Blasio is still warning of a "second wave."

Cuomo confirmed the elimination of Brooklyn's red zone Monday, which now becomes an orange zone.

"Brooklyn was quite a fuss when we made it a red zone," he said. "People didn't like the restrictions, but it worked."

Councilman Chaim Deutsch said while he is pleased that most businesses in his district will be able to reopen with the red zone transition to orange, "that does not erase the weeks and months of suffering that they have been subjected to."

"Governor Cuomo must answer for his decision to isolate certain communities and target enforcement against struggling small business owners," Deutsch added. "And, as updated data now shows, this was completely baseless in science. I am grateful to my colleagues, including Councilman Kalman Yeger, Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein, and State Senator Simcha Felder, for joining me as some of the few consistent voices fighting back against this five week nightmare for Southern Brooklynites."

The New York City Department of Education also announced 23 formerly red zone schools are moving to yellow and reopening Thursday, while 22 formerly red zone schools are moving to orange and will remain closed.

However, Mayor de Blasio said the city's positivity rate is above 2 percent and is urging New Yorkers that there's "one last chance to stop a second wave."

"We have to stop a second wave from coming here," he said. "It is getting dangerously close. I've been telling you for weeks we have the ability to stop a second wave now."

De Blasio reported Monday coronavirus cases surpassed the 550 threshold, increasing to 779 cases and a daily positivity rate of 2.21 percent.

"We have gone well past the threshold for the number of cases we set," he said. "The case numbers continue to increase. That is a problem. We are seeing household transmission, community spread, things we have not seen in a long time. We have to stop them."

The mayor warned the numbers the city is seeing is "dangerous."

"This is my message to New Yorkers: We can top a second wave if we act immediately," De Blasio said. "We have one last chance and everyone has to be part of."

City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine also commented on the "second wave."

"Today's publication of local COVID-19 positivity data should serve as a wake -up call to New Yorkers," Levine said in a statement. "With 86 zip codes now averaging 2% or higher over the past week, it's clear that our second wave is here. The window to avoid new shutdowns is closing. To avoid this we need the public to once again rally to flatten our curve. This means working from home if you are able, being judicial in partaking in indoor dining, limiting travel, and avoiding in-person social gatherings, even with family. With the weather getting colder, holidays approaching, and sharp rising in the virus nationally, New York City has entered a challenging new phase in this fight. We need all New Yorkers to redouble their efforts to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe."

De Blasio said Staten Island continues to be an area of concern. The city is going have a day of action Tuesday on Staten Island, with 75 volunteers conducting outreach at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and other locations.

"We watch the data all across the state," Cuomo said. "You want a data sample that is representative. One day, two days, weekends are always aberrant, for one reason or another, but we are watching the numbers and any place we can do bigger micro-clusters, smaller micro-clusters. Anywhere we can do microclusters. Numbers go up, do microcluster, microclusters go away."

RELATED: Cuomo says vaccine distribution will be a slow process

The state released their new zip code map, with the Tottenville section of Staten Island tested at 6.57% Sunday.

The city will also resume putting out data by neighborhood and zip code, to better identify trouble spots.

"There are still parts of the city that are of particular concern," De Blasio said. "There are still some areas of the city that need special attention, special effort. We are going to talk about that in terms of the neighborhoods, but also the zip codes. We are coming back with the zip code information."

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene updated its data by zip code.

- Seven day average of percent positive by zip code

- Weekly counts of cases and persons tested by zip code

- More refined age breakdowns and trend data

The Mayor also provided guidance for the upcoming holidays.

- Safer holiday activies: get creative and stay smart, stick to core four

- Religious services: go virtual or outside

- Gatherings: know your own and others' risk, keep it small, outdoors is safer

- Travel: stay local, travel safety, get tested and quarantine after travel

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