NYC Issues $150,000 in Fines, 100 Summonses in Virus Hot Spots

New York City, which is trying to stamp out stubborn waves of Covid-19 in Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods, issued $150,000 in fines and 100 summonses over the weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

The city’s crackdown has resulted in widespread anger and protests in Orthodox Jewish communities. Opponents have said they are being singled out and not consulted.

The hot spots have had infection rates ranging from 3.5% to more than 8%, compared with a citywide rate from 1% to 2%, forcing restrictions on non-essential businesses and group gatherings, even during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah this past weekend.

De Blasio said Monday that indicators are leveling off both citywide and in the problem areas. Infection rates aren’t consistently increasing and some are starting to come down, the mayor said.

“This week will be absolutely decisive,” de Blasio said. “By the end of this week, we will have a clear sense of whether this is working and whether we can relax these restrictions within two weeks.”

The city is also conducting monthly testing in all of its schools, with 1,751 people tested across 56 last week. Only one person was found to be positive for the coronavirus, the mayor said.

The city had 59 patients admitted to hospitals with Covid-like symptoms on Monday, with about 25% testing positive so far. The daily number of new cases on a seven-day average was 520, and the seven-day average for positive test findings stood at 1.48%.

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