NYC Virus Spike Continues in Jewish Areas of Brooklyn, Queens

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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