Testing, Positivity, Delta

Testing, Positivity, Delta

There has been much talk this week about the increase in COVID-19 positivity rates across the city - they have almost tripled in the last few weeks from an all-time low of 0.4% to now 1.3% citywide as of today, with some zip codes reporting 5-7% positivity rates. Even though the rates overall remain low, the new Delta variant worries health officials as vaccination rates lag more in some neighborhoods than in others. Some are calling this now a pandemic among the unvaccinated.

"Health Department data show that between January and June 98.9% of cases, 98.4% of hospitalizations, and 98.9% of deaths related to COVID-19 were in those who were not fully vaccinated," said Commissioner Dave Choksi. "So, now is a particularly dangerous time to be unvaccinated with the more contagious Delta variants spreading in our city. But the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against it and all of the other circulating strains of the virus currently in New York. So, the choice is clear. My message to everyone today if you have been waiting, if you have been on the fence, is to please sign up, to get that shot as soon as possible."

I was curious to see where are the infection rates going up and noticed that we no longer seem to be testing enough people.  

Based on the city's own criteria, we do not seem to be testing enough people in most parts of the city to determine how accurate the infection rates are in any given neighborhood, even though overall testing citywide seems to be adequate.

While the city's vaccination campaign has prevented a quarter-million COVID cases and saved over 8,000 lives, according to a Yale University study, we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to this pandemic.

Take a look at who's getting vaccinated:


At this time vaccines are not available to children under 12, but Brooklyn is lagging behind every borough when it comes to vaccinating our elderly, as well as our black and white residents.

So who's not getting vaccinated in Brooklyn? Well, just about everyone who's not Asian (69% fully vaccinated): vaccination rates are below 40% for all other groups, with just 29% of young Black folks (18-44 old) fully vaccinated.