Reopen News: Hundreds gather, crowd Queens streets without masks

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- Clusters of people, many of them not wearing face masks, were caught on video refusing to practice social distancing during the overnight hours in Queens Friday.

On Twitter, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it 'unacceptable' and pledged stricter enforcement throughout the city starting Saturday night.

The incident happened on 28th Avenue and Steinway Street in Astoria.
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Video shows people not practicing social distancing in Astoria. (Credit: Michell99746417)


Police were called to the scene to maintain crowd control.

No arrests were made, and no summonses were handed out.

City Councilman Costa Constantinides, who is a member of District 22 representing Astoria, was furious about the incident.

"There's businesses who frankly I think need to be shut down," Constantinides said. "I already spoke to the governor and the mayor's office today, and said that they've already used up their strikes."
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Police were called to the scene to maintain crowd control. (Credit: Alla Lefkowitz)


Large social gatherings defying social distancing guidelines aren't new to the Tri-State area as several incidents happened in June.

Hundreds of people assembled in close proximity in Manhattan's East Village not wearing face coverings. It even drew a social-media rebuke from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
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Hundreds of people assembled in close proximity in Manhattan Friday night, disregarding social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings.


In New Jersey, a popular bar in Jersey City was busted twice for massive crowds not following social distancing guidelines or wearing masks.
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Toni Yates has more on a popular bar in New Jersey that was busted twice over the weekend for massive crowds not following social distancing guidelines or wearing masks.


Another incident at a Jersey Shore bar in Belmar showed videos of large crowds, tightly-packed, without masks and no social distancing.
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Large crowds at a popular Jersey Shore bar are prompting health and safety concerns as the summer weather heats up.


Also, a photo of a packed outdoor beer garden circulated on social media and got the attention of elected officials in Morristown.
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The photo of a packed outdoor beer garden is circulating on social media and gotten the attention of elected officials in Morristown.



WATCH THE SERIES: EYEWITNESS TO A PANDEMIC (Episode 6 below)
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Suddenly, the brutal death of George Floyd while in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis filled the streets of a nation with rage and sorrow. New York was no different. Protesters put the fear of the virus aside and took to the streets by the thousands. Abandoning the safety and comfort of social distance, to demand social change.



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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio along with local health experts have repeatedly called contact tracing a key element in preventing another spike of coronavirus in the city.



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