Sunset Park infection rate plummets, while Borough Park continues to deal with higher rate

Test and Trace outreach workers in Sunset Park.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Coronavirus cases have fallen dramatically in Sunset Park, marking an end to a small outbreak in the area that city health honchos announced earlier this month. 

While the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests conducted citywide has hovered below 1 percent for several weeks, Sunset Park’s positive test rate reached as high as 7 percent this month, according to officials — but that number has now fallen back down to 1.3 percent. 

However, that good news comes as neighboring Borough Park is still seeing a troublingly higher infection rate than the city average — with 2.9 percent of tests coming back positive. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday acknowledged the relatively-high rate, and committed to further outreach and testing in the area to bring down the infection rate in the area.  

“We’re addressing it rapidly,” de Blasio said. “With more testing, more outreach, more free masks being provided.” 

The mayor credited the city’s Test and Trace Corps’ hyper-local approach for dealing with the Sunset Park uptick, which included 22,148 door knocks and 10,454 tests, according to city data. 

City Hall has not, however, provided similar data for Borough Park — but has said they are emphasizing community outreach, and will be working with local groups like the Hatzolah Ambulance corps. 

“That’s an amazing example of how quickly you can turn things around if you put the effort in the right place,” Hizzoner said. 

The Borough Park outbreak was first reported in mid-August when the city detected 16 new cases in the neighborhood — most of which were linked to a large wedding. Investigators later found a banquet hall in the area that was hosting large indoor weddings with hundreds of guests, despite COVID-19 protocols limiting gatherings to 50 people maximum. 

Borough Park has struggled with coronavirus cases since the early days of the pandemic when it topped the list for cases in Brooklyn in early April. The area has the second-highest antibody rate in the city behind Corona, Queens according to city data.