As nine ZIP codes in New York City see a spike in coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that city workers will be patrolling hot spots with the authority to fine people who do not wear a mask.
During his Tuesday morning briefing, de Blasio said that members of the “Trace Corps” and hundreds of additional city works will be sent into the hot-spot neighborhoods to conduct virus testing. They will also be offering free masks and offer a warning to people not wearing one. If someone refuses to wear a mask after being warned, workers will have the power to impose a fine.
“That will happen aggressively. Clearly, our goal, of course, is to give everyone a free face mask and get them to wear it,” de Blasio said.
The mayor also said that private schools and child care centers will be closed if they do not follow the city’s orders on health safeguards.
He also recently authorized the police department and the sheriff’s office to enforce public health guidelines. Health officials have begun carrying out emergency inspections in private schools in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in Queens and Brooklyn, where residents often do not wear masks or engage in social distancing.