news 3 weeks ago

NYC Is Going to Fine People Not Wearing Masks

Newser — Rob Quinn

New York City is tightening some restrictions amid a rise in coronavirus cases—but it is also proceeding with reopening plans. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city's coronavirus test positivity rate had risen to 3.25%, lower than in many parts of the US but the highest rate in the city since June, Axios reports.

The rate Monday was 1.93%. "That is cause for real concern," the mayor said. Health officials say the rise in cases has mainly occurred in nine zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens, some of which include large Orthodox Jewish communities, reports the New York Times.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, New York City's health commissioner, said the nine zip codes are home to 7% of the city's population but accounted for 25% of the city's positive tests in the last two weeks, the AP reports.

De Blasio said the city will be stepping up enforcement measures and fines will be issued to people who refuse to wear masks when they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of others.

"That will be starting on a large scale today," the mayor said. The spike in cases comes as children return to elementary school classrooms and restaurants prepare for the return of indoor dining Wednesday.

The mayor said those plans will not be affected, but restrictions on gatherings could be reintroduced if the situation fails to improve.

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