Cuomo extends yellow zone restrictions into Astoria

The governor announced that he would be expanding the yellow zone to northwest Queens on Wednesday.

Gov. Cuomo expanded the precautionary yellow zone in Queens on Wednesday afternoon to reflect a rising positivity rate in the northwestern part of the borough. 

The expansion adds several neighborhoods to the borough’s updated precautionary zone he established at the beginning of the month, now including parts of Woodside and Sunnyside, more of Jackson Heights and central Astoria.

In Astoria, the Queens cluster will affect business districts including Steinway Street north of 34th Avenue, 30th Avenue, 31st Avenue and Broadway from 37th to 49th Street. 

Since the mayor closed public school buildings starting Thursday, the new yellow zone mostly acts as a warning for residents and businesses without many hard restrictions, but those could tighten if the cluster progresses to an orange zone. 

Though public schools are already closed, an orange zone mandates that all charter and private schools must close as well until they meet the state’s testing requirements.

In a yellow zone businesses remain open following the city’s Covid guidance, but in an orange zone gyms, fitness centers and personal care services must close and restaurants can only provide outdoor service and takeout.

The current seven-day rolling average of positive Covid tests for the entire Queens cluster from Nov. 8 to 14 is 3.48 percent, according to state data, indicating that parts of the area are trending toward becoming an orange zone. Geographic areas will trigger a change from yellow to orange, if they have positivity above 3 percent for 10 days and 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day rolling average.

According to city data, the ZIP codes for Corona and North Corona as well as Elmhurst have positivity rates among the top 10 highest in the city with seven-day averages of 5.22 percent and 5.09 percent, respectively. Ditmars-Steinway also has a seven-day average of over 3 percent, according to the city, and three other Astoria zip codes have averages of above 2.5 percent.

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