NYC DOH Investigating Major COVID-19 Spike in Six Neighborhoods Which Comprise 20% of All Recent Cases in NYC
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene made some announcements this evening of September 22, 2020. The online statements, posted to Twitter, followed up on that which the Mayor and the DOH Commissioner spoke of early in the day: A rise in COVID-19 cases amongst certain communities.
The statement reads:
We’re investigating a large increase in #COVID19 cases from the week ending Aug. 1 to week ending Sept. 19. We have been closely monitoring signals in neighborhoods that have seen growth in COVID-19
Areas with large increases in COVID-19 cases from the week ending 8/1/2020 to the week ending 9/19/2020:
- Williamsburg: 2%
- Kew Gardens: 2.24%
- Edgemere-Far Rockaway: 3.69%
- Midwood, Borough Park & Bensonhurst: 4.71%
This increase has led to these four areas making up 20% of all cases citywide as of Sept. 19. At this point in time, these increases could potentially evolve into more widespread community transmission and spread to other neighborhoods unless action is taken.
The actual tweet from the Department of Health can be seen below:
We’re investigating a large increase in #COVID19 cases from the week ending Aug. 1 to week ending Sept. 19. We have been closely monitoring signals in neighborhoods that have seen growth in COVID-19 ⬇️ https://t.co/TPTa1Ttgof pic.twitter.com/KWg96nmDBV
— nychealthy (@nycHealthy) September 23, 2020
We’ve heard that NY Governor Cuomo will be in NYC tomorrow. Usually such visits are accompanied by a press briefing. We’re predicting that he’ll be addressing this situation and quite possibly speaking of indoor dining which is set to begin in one week. That’s only an educated hunch on our part.
Followup on September 24:
The Governor held a press conference on the next day (today, Sept 24) but all he had to say on the subject was that they were simply watching the ticks (caution flags) in the area but that “overall, we are still okay.” Thus based upon that sort of response from Mr. Cuomo, one can walk away thinking that the situation is not as bad as is being made?
Continuation of Original Post:
The Mayor this morning:
“And we have other areas where we need to really focus more and we’re going to see expanded community outreach efforts into neighborhoods where we are seeing some upticks in the last day. So, here are some areas we’re concerned about Kew Gardens, Midwood, Flatbush, Far Rockaway and Williamsburg. All these are neighborhoods where we’ve seen some upticks lately. We need to apply a lot of energy and focus to these areas. You’re going to see a lot of activity in the community to remind people of the basics, how important it is and what we call the core four – four things that you can do that makes such a difference – wear a mask, socially distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you’re sick.”
Commissioner Dave Chokshi, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:
“Well, from the beginning, we’ve said we’re watching the indicators like hawks both citywide as well as at the neighborhood level. We’re now seeing signals that COVID is spreading in some neighborhoods faster and wider than the rest of the city, as the Mayor mentioned. But as we’ve done in Sunset Park and Tremont, in Borough Park, in Soundview, now in Ozone Park, and elsewhere, we’re launching a targeted approach that applies more pressure where there is growth in COVID-19 rates. We’re doing this to communicate the urgency we feel and that we need everyone to feel about following guidance to prevent the spread of COVID and to protect one another. So, specifically, in the days ahead, we’ll launch robocalls and WhatsApp messages, communications with houses of worship, core-four palm cards to businesses, distribution of masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. We’ll place additional ads in community newspapers and we’ll offer new point-of-care testing resources in these six neighborhoods at both Urgent Care and community provider offices. We aim to be seen and heard, so sound trucks will broadcast core four messages in these neighborhoods as well. Because this must be done by, for, and with the community, we’ll enhance our partnerships with community-based organizations so that they can activate their networks to best reach New Yorkers. And all of you can do something about this as well, reaching out to your family members to your neighbors, to your colleagues. All of this is building on activity that has already happened, including calls, neighborhood outreach, ads, and interviews with news media. But where more COVID cases are seen, more outreach and activity will be applied. We have the tools to hold COVID at bay. We do this by avoiding large indoor gatherings, as well as the core four – particularly wearing face coverings if you’re older than two, maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, hand-washing, and staying home if you’re ill.”