Tuesday, December 1

De Blasio warns that all of NYC will be an ‘orange zone’ due to COVID-19 and restaurants and gyms will be closed again

The quisqueyana jubilado Ana, Payan, 65, did not know this Thursday that the Health authorities had cataloged Mott Haven, the neighborhood where he lives in the South Bronx, as a ‘yellow zone’ that imposes business and meeting restrictions. There the cases of COVID-19 have risen like foam. But the immigrant put her hand on her head, when she learned that in a matter of days the measure could be more severe throughout the city: everything indicates that restaurants will close again in the interior, as well as hairdressers and gyms.

“This whole situation is an anguish that carries me scared and with pills to calm me down. The economic situation that these closures cause is terrible. My daughter is six months out of work, as is my grandson. I don’t understand where we are going with all this. I need to find a place to take the test ”, the islander reacted.

Indeed, Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed this Thursday that because the average COVID-19 infection of the Big Apple jumped above 3 percent, it is imminent for Governor Andrew Cuomo to appoint the whole city as an ‘orange zone’. This implies that restaurants can only serve in outdoor spaces. In addition, gyms and beauty centers will go back to total closure as in the worst days of the pandemic.

It’s a matter of days so that this painfully has to be applied ”, specified the president.

The number of detected cases of coronavirus in New York City rose to 1,255 this Wednesday alone, a figure that has been increasing steadily that several days ago broke the barrier of less than 550 daily metrics patients that were maintained in the last three months.

Ana Payans, a resident of the Bronx, lives the double anguish of the pandemic. (Photo: F. Martínez)

“We are barely surviving”

When the Guatemalan Germán Ramírez, who manages the Mexican restaurant Santa Clarita located on 138th Street and Willis Avenue, in the Bronx, found out about the new rules because it is located in the new yellow zone of the city, had to reduce the interior service from 25 people to just eight.

Stronger regulatory winds could further demolish the low profitability of small businesses like these that they are surviving the public health crisis.

“We have only three tables outside and with the cold, people don’t like to sit outside now. It has been hard, but no we have more to keep fighting and be optimistic. It is a virus that affects us all in some way, ”said the Central American.

Also the hairdresser Josefina Colón, who has a salon in the South Bronx, assures that although they were able to open since July, these merchants still They are facing months of back rent. And with the social distancing rules and economic reality of many customers, he doubts that small businesses They can withstand the suffocation of a new closure.

“We are already totally drowning in debt. The clientele does not move the same. There are so many unemployed people that beauty is not a priority for them. They cut and paint themselves around the house. A new closure if it is true that it will end us completely. We will not get to 2021 “Columbus expressed concern.

The Guatemalan Germán Ramírez finds it difficult to serve customers outside the restaurant. (Photo: F. Martínez)

Cuomo: “This works.”

Several areas of the southern Salsa County have complied with metrics above 5% general average infection, in the last seven days, to enter the yellow classification line of micro-localities, where all companies can remain open, although with more limitations to receive people inside.

In the case of houses of worship, it can only receive people in 50% of its capacity and restaurants only four people at a table. By definition it is allowed in these areas to keep educational centers open, but the City’s order to close all public schools from this Wednesday it further impacted the lives of thousands of families.

“The good news is that micro-towns work. Broome and Orange counties were yellow zones and are now back to normal. Brooklyn was an orange zone and it’s shrinking to a yellow zone. And to make it very simple, if you socially distanced yourself, you wore a mask and you were smart, none of this would be a problem, ”Governor Cuomo reiterated when he announced the new measures for the Bronx and part of western Queens.

The infection rate in neighborhoods in the South Bronx climbed to 5.44%. (Photo: F. Martínez)

“We are not to play with this”

The Dominican merchant Antonio Moreno, who precisely offers protection products against COVID-19 on Willis Avenue, in the Bronx, says that since he learned of this “second wave” of pandemic, he preferred to protect himself twice: with masks, gloves and a vinyl screen on his face.

“The rules are very clear and are to be followed. I’ve been here for 10 years observing the movement of these neighborhoods. We are not to play with this. We must be aware, ”Moreno exclaimed.

The Mayor De Blasio, who this Wednesday announced the decision to close all school buildings, explained that although very painful measures have been taken that impact the economy of the working classUnfortunately, “everything is changing for the worse very quickly in the Big Apple and throughout the country, in terms of the infection rate.”

“Here we see this situation with our schools now closed. Despite this calamity, we have better news about vaccines. We have a new administration in Washington. That I am sure will help us to change the focus of COVID-19 and it will be much better. We are now ready to distribute the vaccine right now in the city ”, announced the municipal president.

What does it mean for NYC to become an ‘orange zone’?

  • All private schools must close and return to full-time distance learning.
  • Business, including gyms and fitness centers, and personal care services, including barbers, beauty salons, spas, tattoo or piercing parlors, nail technicians and nail salons, cosmetologists, estheticians, providers of laser hair removal and electrolysis, among others, must close.
  • The restaurants, bars, cafes and other foodservice establishments may offer only cookouts and takeout and home delivery service.
  • A maximum of four people per table. Eating inside is not allowed.
  • Houses of worship can remain open with a capacity of 33%, up to a maximum of 25 people.

COVID-19 rises and falls

  • 5.44% a .67% the infection curve was flattened in yellow-delimited areas in the Bronx in the last week.
  • 4.31% was the positive case rate in Staten Island on Wednesday, with a clear upward trend.
  • 3.86% a 2.76% The average COVID-19 infection in the yellow areas of Queens fell on Wednesday, to which Astoria is now joining.
  • 3.57 a 4.31% Coronavirus infections rose in hot areas of Brooklyn.
  • 3.01% is the weighting of positive cases of the virus in the last 7 days in the Big Apple.
  • 2.36% It was the average this Wednesday.
  • 6.73% it is the highest rate of contagion in New York State focused on Enrie County.
  • 2.72% is the total rate of infections in the entire state when they had been reduced below 1.2%

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