NEW YORK CITY — New Yorkers living in color-coded coronavirus cluster zones likely won’t know until at least Sunday if or when localized closures will lift, Mayor Bill de Blasio predicted.
COVID-19 cases in Brooklyn and Queens hotspots continue to level off as they enter their second week of shutdown, de Blasio said Thursday. Red, orange and yellow zones with varying degrees of restrictions started Oct. 8 for a minimum of 14 days.
That means the earliest schools and non-essential businesses, depending on the zone, can reopen is Oct. 22. De Blasio said it’s still too early to tell if the situation has improved enough to lift restrictions then.
“We’re not there yet to know the final answer,” he said. “I told you by the end of this week and that means to me Sunday that we will have a good picture whether we’re in striking range of pulling off restrictions next week or whether we need more time.”
De Blasio’s prediction wasn’t met happily by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo pointed out restrictions in the color-coded are decided by the state, not the city. He said de Blasio and any other local official who makes predictions about issues that aren’t their decisions only confuses the public.
“It’s a total state decision,” he said.
Lifting the restrictions will depend at least in part on whether residents within the zones comply with and locals officials enforce them, Cuomo said.
De Blasio highlighted local enforcement efforts, but also repeatedly said the case numbers appear to be “leveling off.”
It’s a first step in the right direction, de Blasio continued, although his administration has stopped providing detailed daily case numbers from affected ZIP codes.
“There does not need to be a second wave in New York City,” he said.
The city’s overall daily positive rate stands at 1.31 percent, or 1.49 percent over a seven-day rolling average, de Blasio said.
The positivity rate in “red zones” across the state, including those in Brooklyn and Queens, is 4.84 percent, Cuomo said.