NEW YORK CITY - New York City will have checkpoints to stop potential carriers of novel coronavirus from entering the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
The Sheriff's office and Test + Trace will take over the initative to monitor bridges, tunnels and stations in an attempt to stop what some New Yorkers believe is an "inevitable second wave," de Blasio said.
"We don't want to penalize people," de Blasio said. "We want to make sure they're following the rules."
The program will enforce two week quarantines for 35 states with high COVID-19 rates, as mandated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and those found breaking the quarantine could face fines of up to $10,000, the mayor said.
Sheriff's office units will conduct random stops to remind travelers about the rules and Test + Trace will follow up to insure those in quarantine have resources they need, New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.
About 20 percent of new COVID-19 cases in New York City are people who have arrived from outside the five boroughs, said Test + Trace chief Dr. Ted Long.
"This is a new approach," de Blasio said. "If you come here, please, respect what the good people of this city have done."
New York City's COVID-19 tracking indicators Wednesday showed a 2 percent positive test rate, 286 intensive care unit patients and 66 new cases, de Blasio said.
De Blasio said New Yorkers should not expect to go back to the gym this month, calling indoor workouts likely as "post-Labor Day reality."
New York State's moratorium on evictions expires Wednesday and de Blasio urged New Yorkers facing evicition to call 311 to connect with mediation and legal services.
"I think we need a bigger solution here," de Blasio said. "In the meantime, the city will always be there for people any way we can."
The mayor also clarified his role in the sudden resignation of Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, once among the highest ranking Latina officials in the city and who also raised concerns about an inevitable second wave.
"I determined it was important to have new leadership," de Blasio said. "Sometimes things don't work out."
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