As the city and state take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in nine Brooklyn and Queens communities, the latest figures from the city’s Health Department show a continued growth of the virus in six of them.
The data, released late on Monday afternoon, came on the same day Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all public and private schools in the nine areas closed as of Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio had wanted to close the schools Wednesday as part of an action plan to put the communities back on “pause,” including closing non-essential businesses.
The Health Department data indicated slow yet spread of COVID-19 in two-thirds of the nine ZIP codes targeted for the “pause” plan. All nine areas have experienced more than seven consecutive days of 3 percent positivity rates for COVID-19 tests — an indicator which led the de Blasio Administration on Sunday to take action.
As previously reported, the hot zones consist of three separate clusters: Far Rockaway, Central Queens and southern Brooklyn. The six ZIP codes within the southern Brooklyn cluster are, by far, the most populous, with more than 550,000 residents, according to the latest Census data.
In the Southern Brooklyn cluster, four of the six ZIP codes saw a one-day increase in COVID-19 positivity rates, as reported on Monday:
- 11210 (Flatlands/Midwood) had a 6.14 percent positivity rate, up 0.17 percent.
- 11223 (Gravesend/Homecrest) had a 8.05 percent positivity rate, up 0.17 percent.
- 11230 (Midwood) had a 7.28 percent positivity rate, up 0.04 percent.
- 11229 (Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay) had a 4.69 percent positivity rate, up 4.54 percent.
The 11219 ZIP code (Borough Park) continues to have the highest positivity rate in the cluster, at 8.36 percent as of Monday. But that’s down 0.13 percent from the previous day.
The positivity rate also dropped in 11204 (Bensonhurst/Mapleton) to 6.47 percent, a 0.11 percent decrease in 24 hours.
In the Central Queens cluster of two ZIP codes, the 11367 area (Kew Gardens Hills/Pomonok) saw its positivity rate increase on Monday to 4.32 percent, up 0.32 percent in just 24 hours. The news was slightly better in the 11415 area (Kew Gardens), which saw its positivity rate drop to 3.63 percent, down 0.21 percent from the previous day.
The Far Rockaway cluster, comprised of the 11691 ZIP code, registered a 5.89 percent positivity rate on Monday, up 0.17 percent from Sunday.
ZIP codes in danger
Meanwhile, the city’s Health Department is keeping a close eye on two more ZIP codes in Brooklyn and Queens that have experienced COVID-19 positivity rates higher than 3 percent for each of the last five days.
The 11235 area (Brighton Beach/Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay) in Brooklyn logged in a 4.13 percent positivity rate on Monday, up 0.03 percent from the previous day.
In Queens, the 11374 area (Rego Park) registered a 3.49 percent positivity rate, which is down 0.27 percent in 24 hours.
Both areas could be subject to pause orders from the city and state if the positivity rate remains above 3 percent over the next two days.
Second tier areas
Meanwhile, the Department of Health also announced it’s monitoring a second tier of nine other ZIP codes in Brooklyn and Queens where COVID-19 rates are increasing slowly.
The 11218 area (Kensington/Windsor Terrace) in Brooklyn exceeded 3 percent COVID-19 positivity rates on Monday, clocking in with 3.02 percent. That’s up 0.19 percent in just 24 hours.
The other areas being watched in the second tier are the following:
- 11213 (Crown Heights east) in Brooklyn, 2.29 percent positivity rate, up 0.14 percent in 24 hours
- 11205 (Bedford-Stuyvesant/Clinton Hill/Fort Greene) in Brooklyn, 1.93 percent positivity rate, down 0.04 percent
- 11211/11249 (Williamsburg/East Williamsburg) in Brooklyn, 2.23 percent positivity rate, up 0.01 percent
- 11234 (Bergen Beach/Flatlands/Marine Park/Mill Basin) in Brooklyn, 2.48 percent positivity rate, up 0.14 percent
- 11365 (Auburndale/Fresh Meadows/Pomonok/Utopia) in Queens, 2.16 percent positivity rate, up 0.11 percent
- 11366 (Fresh Meadows/Hillcrest) in Queens, 2.97 percent positivity rate, up 0.16 percent
- 11375 (Forest Hills) in Queens, 1.95 percent positivity rate, up 0.04 percent
- 11432 (Hillcrest/Jamaica Estates/Jamaica Hills) in Queens, 2.27 percent positivity rate, down 0.07 percent
This story originally appeared on amny.com.