NYC Virus Spike Continues in Jewish Areas of Brooklyn, Queens

New York City health officials say they’re alarmed at a continuing spike in Covid-19 virus transmission in sections of south Brooklyn and Queens with large Orthodox Jewish communities, on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Seven of the eight neighborhoods saw increases even from the prior day’s report, based on our preliminary data. In Brooklyn’s Gravesend/Homecrest communities, 6.75% of those tested have been been found positive, up from 6% Friday.

Rates have reached 5.34% in Midwood; 4.63% in Borough Park; 4.41% in Bensonhurst/Mapleton; and 3.82% in the Queens area of Kew Gardens, the health department reported. Mask-wearing compliance in these neighborhoods has been much lower than elsewhere in the city, officials said.

The department added four neighborhoods of concern, all with rates above 2.3%: Rego Park, Kew Gardens-Windsor Terrace and Brighton Beach-Manhattan Beach-Sheepshead Bay.

The cases outpace the citywide average “at an alarming rate,” 3.3 times over the past 14 days, the health department said. Ne York has has set a citywide 3% rate as the threshold for closing its schools, and a 5% rate would force new restrictions on businesses and public gatherings. So far, the citywide infection rate through testing has held at about 1% for more than a month.

“Data show we are starting to see an uptick in the number of hospitalized patients in two hospitals in Brooklyn and at least one in Queens,” the department stated in a news release Sunday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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