Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised alarm Monday about the emergence of a handful of coronavirus hot spots in New York, saying just 10 ZIP codes represented more than a quarter of the state’s new infections in recent testing.
New York has reported just over 11,500 new COVID-19 infections over the past two weeks, according to state figures.
A disproportionate number of new cases have come from a handful of communities in New York City and its northern suburbs that are home to many Orthodox Jews.
Of 1,769 ZIP codes in the state, Cuomo said 10 are averaging an infection rate of about 15 percent compared with the overall statewide infection rate of 1.5 percent as of Monday. Those 10 ZIP codes account for 25 percent of the state’s new daily cases despite representing just 2.9 percent of the state’s population.
Cuomo didn’t have neighborhood comparisons to the city’s but identified a number of ZIP codes and positivity rates Monday as experiencing alarming infection rates compared with the state and citywide average: In Rockland County, ZIP code 10977 had a 30 percent positivity rate, 10952 had a 25 percent positivity rate, Orange County’s 10950 (22 percent), Brooklyn’s 11219 (17 percent), 11210 (11 percent), 11204 (9 percent), 11230 (9 percent) and Queens’ 11367 (6 percent).
Cuomo declined to single out any particular group for the spike.
“Whatever the population, the answer’s going to be the same — it’s compliance,” Cuomo told reporters Monday afternoon.
New York City health officials are considering re-imposing restrictions on gatherings in select city neighborhoods where the virus was spreading.
Cuomo acknowledged people are tired of wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart, but cautioned, “You’ll offend them even more deeply if you start doing close-downs, and that’s what’s going to happen.”
Statewide, about 1.5% of people who sought COVID-19 tests wound up testing positive in results reported Sunday. Cuomo warned though that in a handful of ZIP codes, that rate is now up over 20%.
New York hospitals reported 543 COVID-19 patients as of Sunday, the most since Aug. 18 but only a fraction of the nearly 19,000 who were in the hospital at the pandemic’s April peak.