New coronavirus restrictions limit capacity on religious gatherings in NYC hot zones

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Religious groups and gatherings are feeling the impact of the new COVID restrictions in New York's hot spots.

In Queens, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Church off Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills is in the orange zone. Sunday's morning mass will be limited to just 25 people.

This after the Diocese of Brooklyn sued, asking a federal judge for a temporary restraining order to stop Governor Cuomo's executive order which limits religious gatherings to just ten people in the red zone and 25 in the orange zones.

However, a judge denied that request on Saturday, citing the "severity and complexities" of the pandemic.

Jewish groups are also suing after coronavirus cases spiked in some of Brooklyn's orthodox Jewish neighborhoods.

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The coronavirus pandemic hit another fever pitch in Borough Park, Brooklyn overnight. As state and local officials work to crack down on COVID clusters, they are getting some push

Religious leaders say the order violates their rights.

"We think we follow the rules," said Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the Brooklyn Diocese. "We see no contagion happening in our churches, and we believe that this blanket prohibition against using our churches and diminishing the number to so view, it doesn't make any sense."

Parishioner Bob Matheis added that most protests and demonstrations are done without masks, but "you can't go to church to worship."

Churches are not the only institutions being targeted.

Schools as well as nonessential businesses, which means no more indoor dining at least for a couple weeks.

State officials have officially began issuing summonses to put a stop to activities that could spread COVID-19.

On Friday alone, 13 summons were issued in Brooklyn and Queens.

You can find your zone at

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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.

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