Real estate braces for new restrictions as virus cases surge

Virus spike in NYC prompts closure of public schools. Businesses may be next

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

New Yorkers are bracing for a second lockdown as virus cases climb across the state.

The city’s public school system will shut down as of Thursday after virus cases hit 3 percent over a seven-day average, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The announcement was a blow for parents struggling to make sense of fluctuating messaging from city and state officials, as well as disruption to their children’s education.

More significant restrictions could be in the works. De Blasio said Wednesday that they are “coming, and coming soon.”

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So far, the Cuomo administration has taken a somewhat conservative approach to curbing the rising numbers, compared to other states such as Washington and Oregon, according to the New York Times.

Some experts believe the approach may not be enough.

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“The odds are against us at this stage in terms of keeping it under control,” Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, a former New York City deputy health commissioner, told the Times.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has defended his approach, noting that despite outbreaks in 12 counties and rising death rates, the state has one of the lowest positivity rates in the country.

However, at a media briefing Wednesday, the governor said tougher restrictions could take effect in New York City if positivity rates continue to increase.

They include closures of gyms, salons and indoor dining.

Cuomo and others have questioned why de Blasio went to fully remote learning when testing showed virtually no Covid in the school system. The mayor has not fully explained his logic, other than to say he chose the 3 percent threshold earlier and decided to stick to it. He has said repeatedly that “it gives me no joy” to close schools.

[NYT] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan