Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday he wants the state to help shut down nine COVID-19 hot-spot neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens starting Wednesday — closing all of their non-essential businesses, public and private schools, and restaurant dining.
Kids in the areas with spiking coronavirus numbers could still go to school for the next two days before going all remote Wednesday, de Blasio said — while houses of worship will remain open.
“We’re having an extraordinary problem — something we haven’t seen since spring,’’ de Blasio told reporters on a conference call, referring to the uptick in the coronavirus in those areas.
About a half-million people would be affected by the return to the kind of drastic shut-down that the city hasn’t seen since mid-March.
Another 11 neighborhoods in the city are on a “watch list’’ over their COVID-19 numbers and could end up being shut down as well, de Blasio added.
He noted that such regional lockdowns “will require the support and approval of the state’’ and that city will be holding “intensive’’ talks with the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the next day over the issue.
“This can only happen with state approval,’’ the mayor said. “We’ll be working to get approval.
“We understand this is unchartered territory,’’ de Blasio said.
He said he hopes to keep the lockdown to a “brief duration, a matter of weeks … two to four weeks.’’
The move was prompted by the fact that the nine zip codes showed virus infection rates at 3 percent or above for at least seven consecutive days, the mayor said.