Coronavirus

New York City plans to reverse reopenings in some neighborhoods as coronavirus cases climb

A healthcare worker put on their personal protective equipment (PPE) before administering coronavirus tests to patients at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center on June 25, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. The USF Health system partnered with the Hillsborough County Government to provide coronavirus testing at several location sites throughout the county. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

 (CNN) — Schools, daycares and restaurants may again be forced to close in some New York City neighborhoods as the city tries to get ahead of a worrisome spread of Covid-19.

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday proposed temporarily closing all schools and non-essential businesses in nine ZIP codes with high test positivity rates beginning Wednesday, pending state approval.

The decision to roll back reopenings in those areas highlights the challenge facing cities, states, universities and businesses as they try to balance the need to reopen the economy with ensuring public health and safety during the pandemic.

More than 7.4 million have been infected with the virus in the US and 209,810 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US hit its highest daily rate of new cases in almost two months on Friday.

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Only four states — Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas — are reporting a decline in new coronavirus cases compared with the week before.

Climbing coronavirus cases led de Blasio to take what he called a “necessary” action to “rewind” reopening in nine neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where the test positivity rate has been above 3% for at least seven consecutive days.

Elsewhere, however, communities are taking tentative steps forward toward reopening.

Students who opted for in-person learning will return to school buildings in Florida’s hard-hit Miami-Dade County beginning Monday.

The county reported 329 new cases and four deaths on Sunday and continues to lead the state with 172,205 total cases, 24% of all cases in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The return for students who opted for in-person learning will be staggered with Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade and special needs students being the first to go back to school, according to Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS).

“Air filters have been replaced, front offices are properly equipped, our buses have hand sanitizer and appropriate signage, and our empty classrooms are ready to welcome students back,” MDCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted Sunday.

Florida is among the 23 states where reports of new coronavirus cases have held steady compared with the week before.

Cases have risen in another 23 states in the week.

Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming are all trending upward.

Kentucky reported a record number of new cases on Saturday, and then announced the next day that the week was unprecedented.

“I normally don’t provide an update on Sunday, but with 616 new cases today of COVID-19, we have shattered the previous weekly record, which we set just last week,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “This week we now have 6,126 new cases of COVID-19. We have to do better.”

The state reported 1,275 new cases Saturday, the highest number of new cases ever reported in a day. A total of 72,617 cases and 1,209 have been reported since the pandemic began, according to the release.

Of the 616 new cases reported Sunday, 76 of them are children ages 18 and younger. Sixteen of the children are ages 5 and under, including a 5-month-old, the release said.

“Please, everyone, wear your mask, engage in social distancing and follow those top 10 rules that we have on kycovid.ky.gov,” Beshear added.

Local officials in Washington and New Jersey are working to get on top of outbreaks in their areas.

At the University of Washington, at least 144 students at fraternity houses have tested positive for the virus as of Saturday afternoon, the university said.

While the school’s testing efforts “have found few positive cases among residence hall students and students, faculty … a new outbreak has been identified in the UW Greek community,” the school told students on Thursday.

Over the summer, the school dealt with a separate outbreak and identified a total of 154 positive cases, the school said.

In New Jersey, health officials have reached out to 206 individuals who attended events with President Donald Trump in Bedminster the same week he was diagnosed with coronavirus, according to a news release.

The officials are recommending those exposed self-monitor for symptoms and quarantine if they were in close contact with the president and his staff. Contact tracing is ongoing, officials said.

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