Coronavirus

NYC shutdown due to COVID-19: which are the neighbourhoods affected?

Lockdown reimposed in New York as the number of residents testing positive for the virus rises dramatically after pupils return to the classroom.

NYC shutdown due to COVID-19: which are the neighbourhoods affected?
TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

On Sunday evening New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that he will reintroduce lockdown restrictions on areas of the city which have reported a considerable rise in coronavirus cases. The new, tougher measures will be imposed in nine neighbourhoods, primarily in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, with a number of other areas also facing the prospect of further restrictions.

De Blasio sent a series of tweets last night to explain the move and insisted that it had not been an easy decision, but one made to be “proactive about the safety and health of New Yorkers”.

As was reported in The Wall Street Journal the areas affected by the change are Borough Park, Gravesend, Homecrest, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Mapleton, Flatlands, Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, and Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills and Pomonok in Queens.

Schools forced to close a week after reopening

The city suffered enormously during the first wave of infections but the initial lockdown measures helped to limit the spread Covid-19 and a number of public spaces were allowed to reopen again last month. It was the first major school district in the country to allow pupils back into the classroom and the return of indoor dining was a major boost for the hospitality industry.

New York’s initial struggle to combat the spread of coronavirus saw them impose some of the toughest restrictions in the US but De Blasio’s announcement made clear that the pandemic is still a major concern. After months of home schooling, elementary school pupils were finally back in the classroom last Tuesday while middle and high schoolers only returned last Thursday.

New York closing again as cases rise

Back in March and April the city became the global epicentre of Covid-19 with over 12,000 new cases reported on 4 April alone. By 10 April the city of New York had recorded more confirmed cases than any country other than the US.

The state-wide stay-at-home order was passed in March and brought with it the most extensive shut down of any part of America. After months of lockdown restrictions the city was finally able to return to some semblance of normality from 8 July, as the first part of a four-phase reopening plan was put into action.

That crackdown helped to bring the infection rate down but in the last week the number of new cases has risen above 1,000 a day. This is the highest rate of the past four months and has taken the number of confirmed cases to 251,000 in the city alone.

With over eight million residents New York City is by far the most populated city in the country and has suffered 23,844 coronavirus-related deaths to date.