While COVID-19 hotspots have improved in parts of Queens, Brooklyn numbers remain a concern, Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed.
“In general, we need more and more people to get tested,” he said on Monday, Oct. 19. “I would say that is more of a problem in Brooklyn than in Queens. That’s one of the things I want to see real improvement on this week is that – let’s get a true picture of the community and the reality and folks who haven’t been tested, getting out there and getting tested will really, really help us move forward.”
He added that people needed to practice the basic guidelines such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing, all of the basics.
De Blasio also singled out the Central Queens red zone as seeing notable progress.
“Those numbers have gotten substantially better,” de Blasio said. “So, that’s an area that we’re pleased about. We want to see folks in Central Queens consolidate that progress. That’s a good example to everyone else in the red and orange zones that we can turn this around and turn this around quickly with a strong united effort.”
However, he added, more progress is needed before restrictions in orange and red zones can be lifted.
“It looks like another week or two of work, overall,” de Blasio said. “If you’re talking about Central Queens, we’ve seen some notable progress there. We’re going to be talking with the state about how we analyze that. We want to see obviously a couple more days of data before any final decisions.”
He used Sunset Park and Soundview as examples of how education about the virus helps residents become more disciplined.
De Blasio added on Oct. 20 that the city will keep providing any data it can, with “the clear point I made yesterday that we want to make sure there is no further confusion.
“The city put forward a vision of how to address this immediate problem. State had a different approach. We’re aligning to the state’s approach. We really want to make sure that alignment is clear going forward until this immediate problem is over,” the mayor said.
School openings remain a concern among residents and local officials.
“We still have zero data from city and state government about what is happening inside the yellow, orange, and red zones, specifically in the Southern Brooklyn region,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger, Chair of the City Council’s Education Committee and a former teacher.
“Students, working parents, small business owners, educators, and all stakeholders are greatly impacted by this complete lack of transparency. All we have heard from leaders is: ‘we are concerned,’ without providing any clarity,” Treyger said.