NYC Department Of Health Threatens To Close Schools If COVID Numbers Don’t Improve

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FILE - In this May 14, 2020 file photo, schoolchildren raise their fingers to answer their teacher Sandrine Albiez, wearing a face masks, in a school in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)

NEW YORK (VINnews) — The NYC Health Department has issued a stern warning to the Brooklyn and Queens areas in its ongoing campaign to draw attention to the uptick in COVID cases in those regions.

The department said that due to the considerable growth in COVID-19 cases seen in areas such as Midwood, Edgemere Far Rockaway, Kew Gardens, Borough Park, Bensonhurst, Williamsburg & others, there are some steps that will be taken immediately.

Starting tomorrow, there will be regular inspections of all non-public schools within these clusters and their adjacent zip codes. The number of enforcement staff will continue to increase in order to provide robust mask and social distancing compliance in these areas as well.

The departmemt further threatened, that if COVID numbers do not begin to improve in these areas, additional steps will be taken in these areas. These steps will include prohibiting all gatherings of more than 10 persons, issuing fines for refusals to wear a mask after being offered a mask, ordering private schools and child care centers to close if they don’t meet DOE standards, and lastly, closing all non-essential businesses immediately.

The city is giving until this Monday to see progress. These repercussions will be in effect starting Tuesday if sufficient progress is not made.

The department says that Sheriff and NYPD continue to monitor mask compliance in these neighborhoods, which have been overwhelmingly low compared to other areas of the city. The Office of Special Enforcement has found several stores to be non-compliant and plans to revisit all stores that have been found to be non-compliant on the first visit.

On Thursday, Chevra Hatzalah sent out a community advisory to notify the community of the “steady and dramatic rise” of COVID cases in the community.

In the notice, Hatzalah strongly advised the community to abide by all recommended COVID guidelines, such as wearing masks, keeping to other CDC and government rules, and avoiding large gatherings.

Most importantly, Hatzalah now reccomends all patients that require medical care to go to the hospital. Although there were some who avoided the hospital in the past for fear of worsening their condition, things have changed, and there are additional medical treatments available now for use that were not utilized in the past.

The full notice from Hatzalah can be found below.

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