New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday the city's Department of Health, as of Monday, will post real-time data on COVID positivity rates by ZIP code. Credit: NY Mayor's Office

New York City is "dangerously close" to a second wave of coronavirus infections and city hall may be forced to close businesses and take other measures if the number of infections continues to rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

The mayor warned New Yorkers against gathering with others indoors without masks and urged New Yorkers to abstain from travel during the holiday season — and to celebrate the holidays only with those in your household.

"Unfortunately, we’re seeing a real growth in the positivity rate in this city and that is dangerous," said de Blasio, speaking at his daily news briefing. "So we have one last chance to stop a second wave."

The city on Monday reported 779 new COVID-19 cases, which equates to a 2.36% positivity rate.

The mayor said the uptick in cases are due to a combination of household transmission and community spread, though the mayor said he could not point to specific gatherings that amounted to super spreader events.

The mayor said if cases continue to rise, the city could take preventive measures such as closing nonessential businesses and shuttering schools. The mayor also added that the allowance of indoor dining should be reconsidered in light of the city’s seven-day average positivity rate in excess of 2%.

Staten Island has seen its number of positive coronavirus cases rise, said de Blasio, and the city is doing outreach about masks and testing at the ferry terminal and other sites throughout the island. Eight ZIP codes on Staten Island have cases at an above 3% infection rate, according to city figures cited by de Blasio.

"We’re going to focus a lot of resources there to protect the people of Staten Island and to stop this second wave," de Blasio said.

Ted Long, executive director of the city’s Test and Trace Corps., said 75 volunteers and staff will execute the effort on Tuesday.

Dr. Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said the number of coronavirus infections "are rising steadily in neighborhoods across the city" and said the numbers "must serve as a warning" to city residents that greater mask-wearing and social distancing compliance is needed.

Chokshi also reiterated the mayor’s call for a more socially distanced holiday season.

"Mistletoe may be off limits this year, but holiday cheer is not," Chokshi said.

Asked whether he was concerned the impromptu street celebrations after Joe Biden was announced Saturday as the projected winner of the presidential election, could amount to coronavirus super spreader events, the mayor said while the city’s contact tracers would monitor that, he’s much more concerned about indoor events with people not wearing masks. Most of the revelers wore masks, but did not social distance as they danced and popped bottles in the streets to celebrate the demise of the Trump presidency.

Parts of Brooklyn and Queens had previously been coronavirus hot spots and saw nonessential businesses and schools in those areas close as a way to stop the spread.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said those areas had made "great progress."

"Those areas, thank God, have gotten a lot better. There’s still work to do, but they’ve gotten a lot better."

"Brooklyn has made great progress and we reduced the red zone by 50% last week, based on the progress," Cuomo said. "The progress has continued and now we’re announcing, for Brooklyn, the red zone will be all eliminated and what is now the Brooklyn red zone will go to an orange zone."

Latest videos


FOR OUR BEST OFFER ONLY 25¢ for 5 months

Unlimited Digital Access.

cancel anytime.