Schools Closed in COVID Hot Spots as NYC Battles Flare-Ups

NEW YORK — Hundreds of public and private schools in New York City neighborhoods seeing flare-ups of COVID-19 infections were closed Tuesday amid mixed messages from the mayor about how best to halt the spread of the coronavirus in the affected neighborhoods.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the closing of schools  in nine Brooklyn and Queens ZIP codes on Monday. He also said that he hadn't made a decision yet on Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal to close nonessential businesses in the neighborhoods .

"These clusters have to be attacked," Cuomo said of the areas where coronavirus infection rates are higher than in the rest of the city.

The affected areas are largely Orthodox Jewish strongholds, and some community members have complained of being singled out for enforcement.

De Blasio said Sunday that about 100 public schools and 200 private schools would be affected by the shutdown in the nine ZIP codes. The move came just days after the city's public schools opened for in-person learning.

The nine ZIP codes where schools were closed have accounted for more than 20% of all new infections in the city over the past four weeks, though they represent just 7% of the population.


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