De Blasio: NYC could become 'orange zone' first week of December

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is once again warning that the state could soon designate all of New York City an "orange zone."

"That will happen soon after Thanksgiving, probably the first week of December," de Blasio said on WNYC's "Brian Lehrer Show."

Under state rules, that would lead to the closure of indoor dining, gyms and other restrictions across the five boroughs.

"I don't say that with anything but sorrow for the people who work in those places, who need them for their livelihood, the people who own those small businesses and tried to make them work through this, but that is what's going to happen," de Blasio said.

Pointing to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city, de Blasio declared that the only way to address the surge is by putting restrictions in place.

"I agree with the state on restrictions," he said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that the city would become an orange zone if its positivity rate surpassed 3%.

As for schools, which shifted to full remote learning on Thursday, the mayor said a details of a reopening plan will be coming in the next few days.

Typically, schools in orange zones must close for at least four days to clean the entire building, but they could opt to follow the “test out” method and reopen with increased COVID testing.

However, Cuomo notes the state would need to modify the “test out” option for New York City.

“We would have to design a different formula for New York City, because by volume, we couldn’t test every student in New York City,” Cuomo said.