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The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced the closure of non-essential businesses in areas affected by major coronavirus outbreaks in the state, and unveiled a new tiered system that will determine the activities allowed in relation to the number of cases in each area.

“The clumps cause infections, infections cause clusters of cases and clusters of cases cause spread through communities, “Cuomo said at a news conference.

Emergency measures

The new measures of New York State will lead to the closure of businesses such as gyms, bars or personal care centers in some areas of Brooklyn and Queens, as well as the areas of Rockland, Orange, Nassau and Binghamton, where the percentage of infection has registered a significant increase in recent weeks.

Under the new system announced by the governor, areas with outbreaks will be considered as red zones, where, in addition to the closure of non-essential businesses, the closure of all schools will be decreed, all crowds will be prohibited, restaurants will only be able to serve take out food and religious centers will only be able to be at 25 percent of their capacity and up to a maximum of 10 people.

Epidemiological traffic light

The areas surrounding the red zone will be the oranges, where they will also have to close all schools, meetings will be reduced to groups of 10 people, businesses that are considered high risk (such as gyms or personal care establishments) will close and restaurants will only be able to receive customers in outdoor areas, at tables of no more than four people.

In the yellow zones, which surround the oranges and are considered containment areas, all businesses may remain open, as well as educational centers, where students and teachers will have to be tested randomly every week, while in restaurants groups of Diners, both indoors and outdoors, will continue to be limited to four.

Actions of local governments

Cuomo, who this Monday already announced the closure of schools in the areas that are registering the outbreaks, again pointed to the lack of action of local authorities to implement the social distancing measures and the use of masks in New York.

“Local governments must implement the laws. We can spend all day designing laws and regulations, but they will only work if they are enforced. (…) And the lack of enforcement has contributed to this problem,” the governor told the press, which pointed out numerous concerts, festivals and religious celebrations that have occurred during the summer.

Orthodox Jews

The new rules will begin to be implemented this Friday at the latest, and will be in effect during 14 days until the state reassesses the situation.

Cuomo also pointed out that the most affected communities are those in which the orthodox jews, and stated that he has held talks with their leaders to ask that this sector of the population follow the rules.

“I understand the imposition of this on them, but I have told them that I need your cooperation and their collaboration, “he explained.

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