New York City will close several streets in an effort to combat the spread of the Chinese coronavirus as the number of cases in the city continue to lead the country.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that vehicular traffic will be banned from the following streets between Friday, March 27 to Monday, March 30: Manhattan’s Park Ave, between 28th and 34th, Brooklyn’s Bushwick Ave, Johnson to Flushing, Queens’ 34th Ave, 73rd St to 80th St, and the Bronx’s Grand Concourse, between E. Burnside and 184th. The governor said NYPD officers will patrol the areas to ensure pedestrians are following social distancing measures. The city could shut down additional streets in the coming days.
Gov. Cuomo also said that the state could close parks and playgrounds.
“The plan is going to pilot closing streets in New York City because we have much less traffic in New York City. We have many fewer vehicles in New York City,” the governor told reporters said at a press briefing in Albany. “People want to walk. They want to go out and get some air. You want a less dense area, so pilot closing streets to cars, opening streets to pedestrians.”
On Tuesday, the White House coronavirus task force called on individuals leaving New York City to self-quarantine for 14 days. President Donald Trump said the city has become the country’s “hot spot” for the deadly illness.
“We remain deeply concerned about New York City and the New York metro area,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the task force’s response coordinator, said. Birx noted that roughly 56% of all U.S. cases and 31% of all death are in the city.
30,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in New York and 17,856 in New York City. 285 have died from the virus.