Health officials warn of ‘alarming’ COVID increase in New York City neighborhoods

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — Coronavirus continues to spread “at an alarming rate” in several New York City neighborhoods, the city health department said Sunday, a day before it is expected to decide whether to shut down private schools and nonessential businesses there.

The COVID infection rate in Gravesend/Homecrest is 6.75%, up from 6% last week; 5.34% in Midwood, up from 4.95%; and 4.41% in Borough Park, up from 3.53%, according to the Health Department.

It also flagged Kew Gardens, Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Bensonhurst/Mapleton, Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay and Flatlands/Midwood as areas of concern.

“Seven of the eight neighborhoods saw increases even from the prior day’s report, based on our preliminary data,” the Health Department said in a statement. “These areas account for over 23% of new cases citywide over the past two weeks despite representing just under 7% of the city’s overall population.

Last week, the agency said it would shutter private schools and nonessential businesses in the neighborhoods, which include large Hasidic Jewish populations, if the outbreak is not brought under control by Monday night.

The Department flagged four additional areas — Rego Park, Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonok, Kensington/Windsor Terrace and Brighton Beach/Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay — as “showing increased growth of cases and test positivity between 2% and 3%.”

Statewide, the percentage of COVID tests that came back positive Saturday was 1.02%, according to Gov. Cuomo’s office. There were 866 new cases.

Friday marked the first time since early June that there were more than 1,000 new cases.

“COVID-19 remains a force to be reckoned with throughout the country and around the globe, and we cannot drop our guard,” Cuomo said in a Sunday statement. “While our numbers remain relatively flat, we continue to closely monitor the data daily as always.”


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