Mayor De Blasio Sounds Optimistic about Brooklyn Exiting the Red Zones Very Soon
Mayor Bill De Blasio sounds optimistic that Brooklyn will be exiting the red zone very soon.
Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes the final decisions regarding the zones, this morning at a press conference, the mayor said, “Based on the numbers we have heard from the state and what we are seeing ourselves, [the red zone numbers] are all tracking in a good direction, by and large.”
While de Blasio said that some areas in the red zones may take longer than others to exist the restrictions due to positivity rates that are higher than 3%, the mayor was hopeful that the governor’s Oct. 7 assessment that areas with upticks needed only two to four weeks of restrictions “appeared to be true,” said the mayor, who added, “I am hopeful over this week and next week that we can get all of those areas out of the restrictions.”
While pointing out that he doesn’t know whether all of the red zone areas will be treated the same by the governor, who is expected to provide updated statuses of the zones tomorrow, Mayor de Blasio said that “certainly some of the areas have made a lot of progress [in lowering their positivity rates. I am hopeful that we will have some good news there.”
Although daily numbers from the red zones have not been forthcoming, the mayor said that he would be again soon focusing on the rates in zip codes, which some hope will have clearer numbers than the colored zones reveal.
The mayor praised the efforts of the Brooklyn and Queens residents for increasing their testing.
“We know testing has made all the difference,” the mayor said. “Why don’t we use that tool that we know works to protect people who travel and protect all of us?”
In addition, in Boro Park, rebbeim, askanim, and community leaders have asked community members who are feeling healthy to go get tested, so that their COVID-negative results can bring down the area’s average.
Because schools have been shown to not be dangerous sites for the transmission of COVID-19, Mayor de Blasio was asked whether he would consider raising the threshold of a 3% positivity rate as a marker for whether schools can remain open.
“We are going to look at that,” responded De Blasio, who seemed open to the idea that around the world, elementary schools have not been shown to transmit the virus. “We have been talking with all the stakeholders, so for now, that standard will stay stable, but we are going to keep looking at the school situation because [the low numbers in the schools have] been a really bright spot, and [that] is telling us a lot.
Although the mayor said he is keeping a watchful eye on the number of COVID positive cases in New York City, which showed a slight increase from 528 yesterday to 550 today, he did say that the rate of hospitalizations and deaths is down.
Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.
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