NEW YORK (VINnews) – In recent days, we have observed heightened rates of COVID-19 in many neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish populations. The neighborhoods that have presented higher proportions of positive COVID-19 tests—when compared to adjacent areas—include the Forest Hills and Far Rockaway sections of Queens as well as the Midwood, Williamsburg and Borough Park sections of Brooklyn.
Moreover, we are receiving what we refer to as “signals,” in smaller sections of these neighborhoods where there are anomalous spikes in cases.
Following up on our conference call, we continue to see transmission in New York City and it appears to be happening more in communities that encompass your coverage areas than in many other parts of the city. COVID-19 can be transmitted from an adult to a child and we are seeing transmission within households from adults to children in some of these communities.
The neighborhoods experiencing transmission were particularly hard hit in the worst weeks of the pandemic this past spring and we never want to return to those awful days.
We also must emphasize that these communities’ past experience with COVID-19, does not guarantee immunity from future transmission. The science has not yet established that any section of New York City has reached herd immunity or even how long immunity lasts after someone has recovered from COVID-19.
All New Yorkers, including children, must adhere to the Core 4, which includes washing hands, wearing face coverings (if older than two years of age), maintaining distance and staying home if ill. Everyone must also avoid large gatherings and safely isolate if exposed to someone who was found to have COVID-19. If safely isolating at home is difficult, the city can provide accommodations or additional resources. All New Yorkers should be getting tested. To find a testing site go to nyc.gov/covidtest or call 311.
We know everyone in these areas shares our deep concern for their families, friends and neighbors and we urge all New Yorkers to do their part to help us keep COVID-19 at bay.
Dr. Dave A. Chokshi, NYC Health Commissioner.
Below are tables showing the increased numbers in the five neighborhoods.