NEW YORK — Hundreds of businesses and schools in New York City neighborhoods where coronavirus cases have spiked were closed Thursday by order of the governor, but questions swirled about how effectively officials could enforce the shutdown in areas where it has been met with resentment.
The new rules were also met with legal resistance, as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, filed lawsuits over a provision limiting attendance at indoor religious services to no more than 10 people.
Confusion and dismay reigned as the restrictions began to take effect.
In Brooklyn’s Borough Park section, the scene of two nights of protests against the clampdown by Orthodox Jews, some merchants subject to the shutdown order appeared to be operating as usual at midday, including a barber shop, cellphone stores and a toy store.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said 1,200 city workers would be out on the streets doing enforcement, though some of those efforts involved trying to educate businesses about rules imposed with little warning in hastily drawn zones with confusing borders.
All nonessential businesses in areas designated “red zones” in parts of Queens and Brooklyn by Gov. Andrew Cuomo were supposed to shut. Public and private schools were supposed to close, as well, within both the red zones and surrounding “orange zones” designated by the Democratic governor.
Exactly where those zones began and ended, though, wasn’t easily apparent from maps released by the governor’s office or the city. Parents at one Brooklyn school protested that their school had been shut by the city even though it lay outside the area the governor had designated for school closures.
The new restrictions involve parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, sections of Orange and Rockland counties in the Hudson