The city has released an online tool designed to clarify the boundaries of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new color-coded lockdown scheme — ostensibly bringing an end to multiple days of widespread confusion over the imprecise patchwork plan.
“We’ve created a new online tool for people to know their status and which zone they’re in,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press briefing on Thursday.
Brooklynites can now use the city’s searchable resource to determine whether a specific address falls in an area earmarked for new restrictions under Cuomo’s three-tiered system of anti-coronavirus measures — which includes all of central and southern Brooklyn.
The new website has finally provided at least some answers to residents, businesses, and schools that were left in limbo after the governor announced the new measures in response to an uptick in COVID-19 cases, but failed to specify the exact boundaries of areas that would be affected.
Instead, Cuomo’s office had released a bizarre map with yellow, orange, and red overlays that purported to show where each zone was located — although Brooklynites nearly universally panned the graphic, which was not searchable and saw different zones cutting right through residential blocks.
“Who draws lines that don’t follow the street grid and slices blocks into pieces? How are communities supposed to make sense of this?” asked bewildered southern Brooklyn Councilman Mark Treyger. “How does this instill trust and confidence during a time when both are sorely needed?”
Cuomo’s map, and the ensuing turbulence, came after six Brooklyn ZIP codes — 11219, 11223, 11230, 11204, 11210, and 11229 — saw a positive test of above 3 percent for over seven days, sending city and state officials scrambling to come up with a targeted approach to combat the worrying uptick.
De Blasio had originally ordered all schools and non-essential businesses in those ZIP codes to close on Oct. 7, before Cuomo interjected to overrule Hizzoner for being “too broad” in his methods.
Then, Cuomo unveiled his system, which featured the three colors that each represented a different level of lockdowns, with different safety measures required in each.
In the “red zone” of the governor’s approach — which includes swaths of Borough Park, Gravesend, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Midwood, and Flatlands — schools and non-essential businesses will be closed, dining will be prohibited both indoors and outdoors, and religious services will be limited to 25 percent capacity.
The surrounding “orange zone” will also see total school closures, bans on indoor dining, and closures of “high-risk” businesses.
All other central and southern Brooklyn areas between Sunset Park and Canarsie are situated in the “yellow zone,” where gatherings of all types are allowed, although with limited capacity.
The governor did not provide a timeline for how long his new shutdown measures would last, or when each zone’s boundaries would change — saying only that the state would “attack each area in the cluster with appropriate restrictions.”
Brooklynites can head to www.nyc.gov/covidzone to determine which new lockdown requirements apply to any address in the Five Boroughs.