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Coronavirus NYC: de Blasio warns ‘huge restrictions’ as cases rise – Daily Mail

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has warned that ‘huge restrictions’ could be on the horizon after the city recorded what he described as a ‘meaningful jump’ in new COVID-19 infections.

De Blasio threatened to backpedal on the city’s reopening Thursday, saying the growth in cases ‘worries’ him, despite the figures showing less than 2 percent of New Yorkers being tested are returning positive results for the virus.

The seven-day average positivity rate for COVID-19 tests reached 1.92 percent Wednesday while the daily rate was 2.7 percent.

Though the seven-day average is at its highest level since mid-June, it is still considerably lower than the national rate of 6.3 percent. 

New York state also has the second lowest seven-day positivity rate of all US states at 1.5 percent, with only Maine recording a lower rate at 0.8 percent.

By contrast, Wyoming is currently recording a rate of 55.2 percent and South Dakota 46.2 percent. 

New restrictions would come as a major blow to the Big Apple after residents and businesses endured one of the longest lockdowns, with hard-hit restaurants only reopening to indoor dining last month. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured Tuesday) has warned that 'huge restrictions' could be on the horizon after the city recorded what he described as a 'meaningful jump' in new COVID-19 infections

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (pictured Tuesday) has warned that ‘huge restrictions’ could be on the horizon after the city recorded what he described as a ‘meaningful jump’ in new COVID-19 infections

De Blasio said he was ‘increasingly concerned’ about the rise in positive tests in the city during a press conference Thursday. 

‘Here’s where I am increasingly concerned, which is the percentage of people testing positive citywide for COVID-19, threshold five percent, today’s report is 2.7 percent,’ he said.  

De Blasio said the seven-day average postivity rate had been hovering around 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent over the last couple of weeks but this marked the first time it climbed as high as 1.92 percent. 

‘That alone is not a number that would overwhelm us, but the growth is what worries me,’ he said. 

‘And we cannot allow that number to keep growing. We’re really going to have to double down.’   

The mayor admitted the positivity rate is ‘not a perfect measure’ but said it was ‘a very worrisome number’. 

Positivity rates are likely to be higher than the true infection rates among the population because people often only get tested when they show symptoms or have been knowingly exposed to virus.   

De Blasio said the increase was partly due to ‘red zones’ in Brooklyn – including Borough Park, Mapleton and Midwood- and Queens where clusters of cases have been reported. 

The seven-day average positivity rate for COVID-19 tests reached 1.92 percent Wednesday while the daily rate was 2.7 percent. De Blasio said the increase was partly due to 'red zones' in Brooklyn and Queens where clusters of cases have been reported (above)

The seven-day average positivity rate for COVID-19 tests reached 1.92 percent Wednesday while the daily rate was 2.7 percent. De Blasio said the increase was partly due to ‘red zones’ in Brooklyn and Queens where clusters of cases have been reported (above)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo implemented a color-coded, tiered system for areas of concern where further restrictions have been introduced after spikes in cases.

The red zone in Brooklyn recorded a seven-day rolling average for 3.64 percent and the Brooklyn yellow zone 2.47 percent, according to state figures.

Queens Far Rockaway recorded a 1.88 percent average and Queens Kew Garden Hills/Forest Hills 2.57 percent.  

Of New York City’s five boroughs, Staten Island recorded the highest daily positivity rate Wednesday at 2.4 percent followed by the Bronx at 2.1 percent, according to state figures.

Manhattan recorded a rate of 0.7 percent while both Brooklyn and Queens were at 1.7 percent.  

De Blasio said the rise in the city wasn’t due to restaurants though he did mention them as ‘sensitive areas of concern’. 

‘My strong impression is we’re seeing something generalized,’ de Blasio said. 

‘What we do know is what are the more sensitive areas of concern… bars, restaurants, nightclubs.’ 

New York state also has the second lowest seven-day positivity rate of all US states at 1.5 percent. Pictured a chart of its problem zones

New York state also has the second lowest seven-day positivity rate of all US states at 1.5 percent. Pictured a chart of its problem zones 

De Blasio did not explain what the ‘huge restrictions’ would be or at what positivity rate they would be enforced and his office referred DailyMail.com’s request for clarification to his press conference transcript, saying the mayor was discussing hypotheticals if a second wave hits.    

The mayor previously said if the seven-day average positivity rate hits 2 percent, indoor dining could shutter across the city.

This would mark a huge blow to the city’s bars and restaurants which were only allowed to reopen indoor dining at 25 percent capacity on September 30.

The limitations – along with months of closures – have already spelled the end for dozens of businesses. 

According to comments made by de Blasio in the past, indoor dining could be first to face the ax when the city reaches a 2 percent rate, followed by schools when it reaches 3 percent. 

The mayor also repeated calls made this week for New Yorkers to avoid travel over Thanksgiving and avoid large Halloween gatherings this weekend. 

The mayor previously said that if the seven-day average positivity rate hits 2 percent, indoor dining could shutter across the city. Pictured: Spaced out diners at Rosa Mexicano restaurant

The mayor previously said that if the seven-day average positivity rate hits 2 percent, indoor dining could shutter across the city. Pictured: Spaced out diners at Rosa Mexicano restaurant

‘If people want to trick-or-treat outdoors [in] small groups with masks on, that’s great,’ he said Thursday. 

‘Big gatherings, parties – that’s not great at all.’ 

Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed the state’s positivity rate reached 1.48 percent after a record high number of people – 168,353 – took tests Wednesday. 

He said the rate was dramatically higher at 3.24 percent in all focus areas under the state’s ‘Micro-Cluster strategy’ of problem areas.  

Outside the focus zone areas the rate is lower at 1.25 percent.  

Much of the cases are clustered in the focus zones which are: parts of Brooklyn, Queens Kew Garden Hills/Forest Hills, Queens Far Rockaway, Rockland County, Orange County, Broome County, Steuben County and Chemung County.  

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