NYC slaps COVID-19 rule breakers with $150,000 in fines

NEW YORK - City officials imposed 62 fines totaling $ 150,000 over the weekend for violating COVID-19 rules at hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens, the city government said Sunday.
Five unnamed religious institutions were fined.
The crackdown came amid an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases from Borough Park, Brooklyn to Kew Gardens, Queens.
Since large Orthodox Jewish populations live in many of the affected areas, the heads of state and government have asked the communities to avoid large gatherings. Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced fines of up to $ 15,000 for large gatherings and fines of up to $ 1,000 for those who refuse to wear face coverings.
According to the new state rules, places of worship at the hot spots have not been allowed to accept groups of more than 10 people since last Thursday.
"To protect all of New York City, we must work together," said a message on Sunday afternoon on the city government's Twitter account. "The recent COVID outbreaks in Brooklyn and Queens will continue to receive additional FREE resources and strong enforcement."
Earlier on Sunday, Governor Andrew Cuomo had accused the city of failing to enforce COVID-19 rules.
"People see that a law is not being enforced - they reject the law," the governor said in a phone call with reporters.
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