URGENT: Cases Triple In Ocean Parkway Cluster, Williamsburg, City Worries About Increase Community Transmission

URGENT: Cases Triple In Ocean Parkway Cluster, Williamsburg, City Worries About Increase Community Transmission

We just received an email from the NYC Department of Health informing that there are several areas in Brooklyn and Queens that “are cause for significant concern” for the city when it comes to COVID infection rates.

The neighborhoods of concern are Williamsburg (2% infection rate), Kew Gardens (2.24%), Edgemere-Far Rockaway (3.69%) and a section of Brooklyn including Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst (4.71%) which the city is referring to as the Ocean Parkway Cluster.

Looking at data between the week ending 8/1/2020 to the week ending 9/19/2020, the number of cases in

  • 3 of 4 areas have tripled in that time (Ocean Parkway, Far Rockaway, and Williamsburg)
  • 1 of 4 has doubled in that time period (Kew Gardens)

This increase has led to the four areas above making up 20% of all cases citywide as of 9/19/20.

The city worries that “these increases could potentially evolve into more widespread community transmission and spread to other neighborhoods unless action is taken. We are monitoring the situation for the need to take further steps in these areas.”

More information will be forthcoming, but the Department f Health is urging residents to comply with restrictions in place to fight COVID-19:

  • Large indoor gatherings must be avoided.
  • New York State law requires face coverings be worn by everyone older than two-years-old when in public if unable to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others. Hands must be washed frequently and anyone who is ill must stay home. Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 must safely separate from others. Anyone who can’t safely separate at home is able to receive accommodations or additional resources from the city.
  • All New Yorkers should get tested for COVID-19. To find a testing site go to nyc.gov/covidtest or call 311. In addition, please answer the phone if you get a call from NYC Test+Trace, which will be from a phone number beginning with 212-540-XXXX or 212-242-XXXX.
  • New Yorkers should not use antibody test results to determine whether to return to school or work. Past infection does not guarantee protection from being infected again. In addition, a test should not be used to stop following quarantine precautions. If someone is identified to be a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, they must stay home for the required 14 days, regardless of a negative diagnostic or antibody test.