Governor Cuomo announced on Monday that the Brooklyn red zone, so designated because of an uptick of coronavirus cases, has seen cases fall enough to now be labeled with the less restrictive categorization of orange zone.
In red zones, nonessential businesses were closed, restaurants could only offer takeout, and houses of worship could only allow a maximum of ten people. In the orange zone, houses of worship allow 25 people to attend services, outdoor dining is allowed, and businesses, with the expectation of close contact places such as barbershops or exercise gyms, are open.
The counties of Erie, Monroe and Onondaga have seen cases rise, and will be designated as cautionary yellow zones.
“Brooklyn has made great progress, and we reduced the red zone by 50 percent last week, based on the progress. The progress has continued, and now we’re announcing for Brooklyn the red zone will be all eliminated and what is now the Brooklyn red zone will go to an orange zone,” said Cuomo, defending the zone system and noting its success. “[This] is all very good news. Broome, Orange, Rockland and Brooklyn. And Brooklyn, if you remember, there was quite a fuss when we made a red zone. People don’t like the restrictions, I understand that. But it works.”
Elected officials who represent Brooklyn are applauding the decision, and are continuing to urge people to shop local. Local nonessential businesses in the red zone have suffered from the strict restrictions.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch said in a statement, “While I am pleased that most businesses in my district will be able to reopen with the red zone transition to orange, that does not erase the weeks and months of suffering that they have been subjected to. Governor Cuomo must answer for his decision to isolate certain communities and target enforcement against struggling small business owners. ”
State Senator Simcha Felder said in a statement, “I am thankful that Governor Cuomo finally heard us and agreed that today is the day to end to the madness and finally downgrade Brooklyn’s red zone. This is so important for small business owners who have been suffocating under this policy. I cannot overstate the toll taken by these shut downs, but today it ends. Please, put on your masks and go support them. SHOP LOCAL, SAVE LIVES.”
Assembly member Simcha Eichenstein said on social media, “With small businesses now opening, SHOP LOCAL! Small business owners don’t deserve the hardships they have gone through. Let’s help them out, patronize their stores!”
Updated Monday, November 9, 2020 at 3:53 pm .