The latest outbreaks have sparked fears of a second wave in America’s biggest city, once the national epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak. Nine zip codes with large Orthodox Jewish communities have formed the nucleus of rising cases, and city officials have warned for weeks that it’s begun to spread to surrounding neighborhoods — a Pandora’s Box that could send the city back to the days of overflowing morgues and war-zone hospitals.
De Blasio held a marathon call Saturday evening with more than a dozen city officials and public health experts, according to two people who were on the call. Assured that the uptick was a sustained trend, and not an anomaly, the mayor made a surprise announcement Sunday that he was ordering the shutdown of schools and businesses across those nine neighborhoods.
But Cuomo, who has the ultimate authority over the decision, hadn’t fully signed off. The governor, a fellow Democrat, held his own news conference Monday to say he would not close the businesses, though he would close schools a day earlier than de Blasio suggested. He then chided the mayor for not being more aggressive on enforcing public health guidelines.