NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Relief is in sight for businesses, schools and religious institutions in some of New York City’s COVID hot zones.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will redraw the lines, and the results will be announced as soon as Wednesday.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday, not everyone in the lockdown areas will be off the hook, but the governor said he’s doing a block-by-block assessment of infection rates and plans to ease restrictions wherever he can.
“We have total flexibility in the zones,” Cuomo said. “Marcia, you can draw the lines on these maps wherever you want, literally. You can just configure it block by block. So as discrete areas get better you can rewrite the size of the zones, and that is what we’re looking to do now,” Cuomo said.
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Cuomo’s willingness to redraw the lockdown lines came after a virtual meeting with Jewish leaders, begging him to realize that many in their community are wearing masks and complying with social distancing and should not be confused with one congregation in New Square — which held a mass service a week ago.
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Rabbi Yaakov Bender of Far Rockaway was one on the participants.
“Please remember when you see some idiots doing silly things, don’t paint us with that brush. We are really beating up on them. We are doing everything in our power to stop these people,” he told Cuomo on a phone call.
WEB EXTRA: Click here for the “find your zone” map
Red zone infection rates are coming down. In the last week:
Queens red zone dropped from 3.3% to 2.2%
Brooklyn went from 5.8% to 5.2%
Rockland went from 9.7% to 4.5%
Orange went from 12.4% to 4.6%
The governor said he is depending on community leaders to help with compliance
“If you know certain activities are going to be curtailed, which we believe have been significant generators, then we can do even more,” Cuomo said.
On Monday night, inspectors visited Williamsburg, where the wedding of the Satmar grand rabbi’s grandchild was taking place, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported. After much speculation it would be a 10,000-person spectacle, the community agreed to have an in-person “family only” celebration for 50 people.
“We don’t want to be disrespectful. We’re all here to get along with each other, but we just need to make sure that we do that in a safe manner,” NYPD Assistant Chief Judith Harrison said.
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Earlier, members of the Satmar community were invited to listen to the wedding ceremony on phones and phone hookups under the belief that if they stayed home and off the streets they would be safe.
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