NEW YORK — Alarmed by a spike in coronavirus infections in a few Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, New York City officials will start issuing fines in those areas to people who refuse to wear masks, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
De Blasio said he was sending teams of hundreds of outreach workers and contact tracers to nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes that have seen an upswing in positive COVID-19 tests in hopes of avoiding harsher enforcement measures.
Those workers will be handing out masks but also insisting that people put them on if they are in a place where they could be within 6 feet of other people.
The Democratic mayor warned he could order further crackdowns, including the closing of nonessential businesses and bans on gatherings if things don’t improve. Private schools and child care centers could be closed if people refuse to comply with coronavirus guidelines, de Blasio said.