There have been mounting concerns for weeks about transmission in yeshivas, which educate tens of thousands of children and play an essential role in Orthodox Jewish life in New York City. As early as May, when the city was still under a lockdown, a large yeshiva in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was shuttered for violating the ban on in-person schooling.
And last month, the city ordered two yeshivas to close after coronavirus cases were detected. Some people in the Orthodox community, which includes several Hasidic groups, have privately raised concerns about social distancing and mask compliance in yeshiva buildings.
The nine ZIP codes subject to the most severe restrictions include portions of Far Rockaway and Kew Gardens in Queens, and Borough Park, Midwood, Gravesend, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. The restrictions would last for two to four weeks, if not longer, depending on the success of efforts to curb the virus, the mayor said.
The city is also closely watching the 11 additional ZIP codes, which Mr. de Blasio described as a “real concern.”
They include parts of Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Manhattan Beach, Bergen Beach, Kensington and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. The Queens neighborhoods include Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest and Jamaica Estates.
City officials said a federal court order requires them to keep houses of worship open in the city, even in the nine ZIP codes. However, they are subject to 50 percent capacity limits.
“Additionally, we will only allow individual worship, but not congregate or group services,” said Avery Cohen, a spokeswoman for the mayor.