COVID NYC Update: Coronavirus spike results in compliance order for some non-public schools in Brooklyn, Queens

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – The New York City Department of Health has issued an order from the commissioner of non-public schools on six Brooklyn zip codes and two in Queens amid a troubling increase in rates of COVID positivity The latest city figures appear to confirm the troubling trend, showing COVID test positivity rates increasing in the following neighborhoods:Gravesend / Homecrest 6,42%
Medium wood 5.05%
Kew Gardens 4,18%
Edgemere / Far Rockaway 4,05%
Borough Park 3,9%
Bensonhurst / Mapleton 3,45%
Plage de Gerritsen / Homecrest / Sheepshead Bay 3.34%
Flatlands / median wood 3.1% The health department ordinance has an impact on these eight neighborhoods. Any school in these areas found to be non-compliant will be subject to an offense and risk being closed.

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The fine for violating a Commissioner’s order is $ 1,000.

“This is perhaps the most precarious position with COVID-19 that we have seen in months, and we must immediately take action to protect our communities,” said Dr Dave A. Chokshi, Commissioner for health. “Protection against COVID-19 requires a group response. It is essential for us to follow public health guidelines, especially Core 4: Wear headgear, keep your physical distance, keep your hands clean, and stay home if you are sick.

COVID-19 risk reduction measures for non-public schools include:

* All persons present on the school premises must remain at least 6 feet from each other at all times, except in an emergency or when it would create a safety hazard;

* Face covers are required in school buildings at all times, except for people who cannot wear face coverings for developmental, medical or age reasons;

* Coordination with the Department of Health and the Test + Trace Corps to identify, isolate and prevent the spread of COVID-19; and

* By following established protocols for the opening and closing of schools if a student or staff is confirmed with COVID-19, and excluding students and staff who show symptoms or are confirmed with COVID-19 or have been identified as close contact with someone with COVID-19.

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The postal codes under the Commissioner’s Order are:
11204 (Bensonhurst / Mapleton)
11223 (Gravesent / Homecrest)
11230 (midwood)
11691 (Edgemere / Far Rockaway)
11415 (Kew Gardens)
11219 (Borough Park)
11229 (plage de Gerritsen / Homecrest / Sheepshead Bay)
11210 (Flatlands / Midwood)

The ordinance went into effect on Friday.

Inspectors will visit non-public schools in covered postal codes to verify compliance.

The health ministry said it will share additional material over the weekend and post online to further help schools understand these requirements. Failure to do so could result in an offense punishable by a fine of $ 1,000.

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