Oct. 1, 2020 By Allie Griffin
City Hall will deploy hundreds of city workers to enforce coronavirus rules and educate residents in nine neighborhoods that are seeing an alarming uptick in COVID-19 cases.
The city will send out 400 NYPD officers, more than 300 Test & Trace Corps members and 250 additional agency staff to the neighborhoods in southern Brooklyn and Queens, including Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills and Far Rockaway.
The nine neighborhoods account for 25 percent of all coronavirus cases citywide over the past two weeks, according to the Department of Health.
The police officers and other city workers will hand out free masks to residents in the nine areas and will issue fines to people who refuse to wear a mask.
Meanwhile the Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Special Enforcement will inspect private schools and businesses for noncompliance to COVID regulations. Mayor Bill de Blasio said businesses can be fined or even shut down if they are repeat offenders.
The city is also doing outreach and public information campaigns in multiple languages as well as deploying robocalls and sound trucks to relay COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.
The city is increasing coronavirus testing at all of the affected neighborhoods in an effort to control the spread of the virus as well.
Health officials are also monitoring another four neighborhoods that are seeing an increased growth of cases. These neighborhoods of concern include Rego Park and Williamsburg.