Williams' Statement On Restrictions In Zip Codes With Covid-19 Case Spikes

October 5th, 2020

Press Release

Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams released the following statement after it was announced that schools would be closed in zip codes where COVID-19 cases are spiking, and additional proposed restrictions would remain under consideration.

"The back and forth between the Mayor and Governor on the scope and method of enforcement for additional restrictions in specific zip codes as COVID-19 cases rise is an echo of what we saw in mid-March, when delays and power plays led to lives lost. Since then, the only thing that has been consistent between them is inconsistency. The message has been mixed, and the results are clear - cases are rising and New York is at risk of another wide-scale outbreak if proper precautions are not taken. Any further decisions to expand closures by geography or institution must be guided by science, framed in equity, and made jointly between city and state leaders.

"Students and staff are not confined to the neighborhood of their school building - they travel across zip codes and across the city. Of course schools should be closed to students and most school staff in these nine areas - but it's inexplicable that the administration continues to believe school buildings should remain open at all, enabling further spread citywide. In a controlled manner which maintains the availability of REC centers for those most in need, all city schools should transition to fully remote instruction until safety and stability can be more reliably assured and in-person instruction phased in."

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