Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is seeing real growth in coronavirus infections and that it is dangerously close to a second wave.
“We have one last chance to stop a second wave,” he said at his daily press briefing. “We can stop a second wave if we act immediately, but we have one last chance and everyone has to be a part of it.”
The city's current 7-day average for reported COVID-19 cases is 779, well over the 550 threshold that the city was able to stay below for the past few months. The positivity rate is now at 2.21%.
The next two holiday months will be a crucial time to curb this potential wave, he said. The mayor is urging people not to travel out of state for the holidays. People who do travel into New York City will need to quarantine for 14 days. He said the city will be “very strict about that."
However, according to state rules, if you test negative for the coronavirus three days before your trip, you will be able to avoid the 14-day quarantine rule.
The mayor said the state should also consider taking a look at indoor dining, which resumed not even two months ago, now that the positivity rate is above 2%
"What I said is that two percentage should be re-evaluated, and I think it should be re-evaluated now," de Blasio said. "Again, the goal is to stop this trend in terms of higher infection rates and push it back down. But certainly we're at a point where I think it makes sense to take another look given what's happening."
The city is also monitoring an uptick in cases on Staten Island.
Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Brooklyn has seen improvements and that the borough's hot spot restrictions will be eased.
‘Red zones’ in Brooklyn will now be eliminated and fall under 'orange zone' guidelines.
“Brooklyn has made great progress,” said Cuomo. “Do more testing, more targeting as soon as you see any increase, be more aggressive. There’s nothing more you can do. But that’s everything you can do. Watch a small increase, attack a small increase. And it works. How do you know it works? Because the numbers show it works.”
This change allows restaurants in Brooklyn to reopen for outdoor dining; under red zone rules restaurants were only permitted to serve takeout and delivery. Gyms, fitness centers, and hair salons will remain closed. Nonessential gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Houses of worship in these areas will now be able to increase capacity from 25% to 33%.
"We reduced the 'red zone' by 50% last week," said Cuomo about Brooklyn's micro clusters. "Brooklyn, if you remember there was quite a fuss when we made it a red zone; people don't like the restrictions, I understand that, but it works."