The governor’s plan closes schools sooner, but allows businesses to remain open in some affected neighborhoods.
It may be Cuomo’s biggest slap-down of de Blasio in their often tense relationship, an assessment by the governor that the mayor’s plans for dealing with a surging infection rate is not up to snuff. So, he’s taking control, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday.
“I would not send my child to a school in a hot spot cluster that hasn’t been tested. We’re going to close those schools in those areas tomorrow,” Cuomo said.
And with those words, the governor began the first steps in taking apart the mayor’s plans to deal with the nine COVID-19 clusters in the city.
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Cuomo moved up the timetable for closing schools in the hot spot zip codes. As many as 100 public schools and 200 private schools will close Tuesday, not Wednesday as the mayor proposed.
The governor said he would also meet with religious leaders to determine whether, and under what circumstances, synagogues and churches can open. And while de Blasio said he wanted to close nonessential businesses, Cuomo gave them a reprieve.
“Businesses are not mass spreaders. You are talking about small stores,” Cuomo said.
The governor said that they would need to draw new lines, not merely based on zip codes, to determine what opens and what closes. And when it comes to restaurants, he said that indoor and outdoor open dining could be impacted, but it was unclear when. He said, again, that there would need to be a redrawing of boundary lines before a decision is made.
Cuomo knocked de Blasio by saying he was going to take control of enforcing the law in New York City.
“The state is going to take over the enforcement oversight in all the hot spot clusters,” Cuomo said.
While he wants the NYPD to help with manpower, he’s going to direct the action. The reason? The mayor didn’t enforce the mask law. Cuomo said de Blasio issued just 26 summonses, despite lots and lots of evidence.
“New York City deployed a thousand people for days, for three days. A thousand people for three days is what, 24,000 personnel hours? You only did 26 enforcement actions? That’s not enforcement,” Cuomo said.
De Blasio had the following to say in response:
“I’m very, very clear that if I can get someone to wear a mask rather than just give a fine for its own sake I want someone to wear the mask. If someone refuses to wear the mask they are getting the fine. That’s been our approach all along,” de Blasio said.
The mayor and the NYPD did not commit extra cops for Cuomo. In fact, the agency issued a statement that said, “We will continue our education and awareness campaign and deploy our resources as conditions warrant.”
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