Crunching the COVID numbers: Positivity rate drops, Sunset Park cases remain high

A woman working with registration stands inside a vaccination area for people receiving the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a NYC mobile vaccine bus in the Sunset Park section of the Brooklyn borough of New York
A woman working with registration stands inside a vaccination area for people receiving the jab at a mobile COVID-19 vaccine bus in Sunset Park.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Two weeks ago, nine communities in Brooklyn and Queens cataloged COVID-19 seven-day positivity rates exceeding 10 percent. Just a week ago, up to 12 ZIP codes in the entire city had such high numbers.

But the most recent data from the city’s Health Department, recorded between April 6-12, found that only two areas of Queens had 10 percent or higher positivity — and the rest of the city was below that threshold.

It was another sign that the COVID-19 decline continues across the city as the vaccine makes its way into arms. The city’s Health Department says all trends are “decreasing,” with the citywide positivity rate (as a four-week average) at 6.42 percent. Hospitalizations and deaths are also dropping across the city. 

The lone COVID-19 hotspots are in Flushing/Murray Hill/Queensboro Hill (ZIP code 11355), where 287 new cases were detected, the second-most in the city. The area has the highest seven-day positivity rate in the five boroughs, at 10.69 percent. High as that number is, it represents a nearly two-percent drop in the positivity rate from March 23-29 (12.15 percent). 

Ozone Park (11416), which has been in the COVID-19 hot spot previously during the pandemic, now has the second-highest positivity rate in New York City, at 10.22 percent. Eighty-five new cases were detected there between April 6-12.

Two areas of Staten Island, and the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, have seven-day positivity rates exceeding 9 percent in the latest Health Department figures. 

The Elm Park area of Staten Island (10302) had 69 new COVID-19 cases and a 9.96 percent positivity rate during the period. That’s down nearly a full point from the 10.57 percent positivity rate between March 31-April 6. Tottenville (10307) saw an even greater decrease in its positivity rate, from 12.5 percent between March 31-April 6 to 9.96 percent between April 6-12; 47 new COVID-19 cases were detected there during the latest period.

As for Sunset Park (11220), the seven-day positivity rate fell a full three points in a week — from 12.54 percent between March 31-April 6 to 9.54 percent between April 6-12. The Brooklyn community, however, is still seeing plenty of new COVID-19 cases; another 253 were diagnosed this period, down from the 336 recorded a week prior.

The Cypress Hills/East New York (11208) area of Brooklyn had the highest raw number of new COVID-19 cases in the city between April 6-12, with 312. That’s up from the 293 cases recorded the previous week, though the area’s positivity rate dropped from 9.58 percent to 8.75 percent.

The rate remains high enough to put Cypress Hills/East New York in the top 10 list of citywide infection rates along with Hunts Point, Bronx (10474); Annadale/Rossville, Staten Island (10312); Arrochar/Midland Beach/South Beach (10305); and Flushing/Murray Hill, Queens (11354).

Health Department

In terms of most COVID-19 cases in total, Sunset Park ranks third behind Cypress Hills/East New York and Flushing/Queensboro Hill/Murray Hill over the past week, followed in the top five by two eastern Brooklyn communities: Ocean Hill/Brownsville (11212, 247 cases) and another section of Cypress Hills/East New York (11207, 210 cases).

Also in the top 10 of total COVID-19 cases are Bloomfield/Fresh Kills Park, Staten Island (10314), Ridgewood/Glendale, Queens (11385); Canarsie, Brooklyn (11236); Brighton Beach/Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay (11235) and Annadale/Rossville. 

Health Department

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 12 communities in New York City had fewer than 10 COVID-19 cases diagnosed between April 6-12 — and eight of them are in Manhattan.

One area of the Financial District (10004), which had just one COVID-19 case between March 31-April 6, had a single positive diagnosis reported between April 6-12. Another section of FiDi (10006) had two reported cases during the most recent period. 

Two areas of Battery Park City (10280 and 10282) had eight combined COVID-19 cases between April 6-12. These communities, as well as the two Financial District ZIP codes, had positivity rates of under 2 percent. 

The lone neighborhoods outside of Manhattan with less than 10 new COVID-19 cases over the past week were City Island, Bronx (10464, three cases); Douglaston/Little Neck, Queens (11363, five cases); Fresh Meadows/Hillcrest, Queens (11366, seven cases); and Long Island City, Queens (11109, nine cases).

Health Department

Though the spread of COVID-19 continues to slow, the virus remains a threat to New Yorkers, especially those who’ve yet to receive the vaccine. Hospitalizations are down, but more than 1,100 New Yorkers are currently battling the illness in hospital beds across the city.

Over the last week, 269 New York City residents died of COVID-19.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.