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As COVID Cases Rise in Queens and Throughout City, De Blasio Says NYC Has ‘One Last Chance to Stop Second Wave’

Mayor Bill de Blasio ( Michael Appleton/ Mayoral Photography Office)

Nov. 9, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York City has “one last chance” to stop a second wave of the coronavirus as new cases continue to surge, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The number of new cases on a seven-day average — as of Saturday — increased to 779 citywide, up from 593 a week earlier and well above the city’s threshold of the 550 cases it deems safe.

Meanwhile, the the COVID-19 positivity rate has been at about 2 percent or higher for a week and reached 2.36 percent Saturday, de Blasio said Monday.

The city had managed to keep the rate around 1 percent toward the end of summer. The number, however, has continued to creep up since then.

The rise of coronavirus is a problem throughout the city, but some ZIP codes are seeing an uptick greater than others, de Blasio said.

In Queens, Richmond Hill (11418), Averne/ Broad Channel (11693), Hollis/ Holliswood (11423) and Ditmars Steinway (11105) are areas of concern, according to city testing data. The neighborhoods have COVID-19 positivity rates of 4.43 percent, 3.85 percent, 3.84 percent and 3.60 percent respectively.

De Blasio said the numbers show New York City is “dangerously close” to another coronavirus outbreak as COVID-19 cases rise across the country.

“We need to do everything in our power to stop the coronavirus from reasserting [its self] in New York City,” he said at a press briefing Monday. “We have to stop a second wave from happening here.”

The mayor warned that he would have to impose restrictions–such as closing schools and businesses– should the city enter a “full-blown” second wave.

However, he said the city can avoid the closures if the case numbers and positivity rates come down.

“There’s still time to fight [the rising numbers] back, but those are numbers that should have us all alarmed and ready to act with everything we got.”

De Blasio and the City Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi advised New Yorkers to wear masks and avoid indoor gatherings.

They also asked residents not to travel or attend indoor parties and gatherings for the upcoming holidays.

“The virus starts local, but — as we’re seeing around the country and around the world — it doesn’t stay local unless each of us takes the action that we need to to protect ourselves as well as ours,” Chokshi said.

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