COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise across the Five Boroughs, particularly in low vaccination rate hotspots like Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, according to the latest city Health Department data.
The citywide positivity rate rose to 2.29%, with 804 cases averaged across seven days as of July 23, up from 1.81% and 640 cases a week before on July 18. Hospitalization and death rates have remained stable and low with a hospitalization rate 0.53 per 100,000 as of July 23, and three deaths as of July 22.
All three available COVID-19 vaccines — the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna options or the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson — are highly effective in preventing serious illness and death from the coronavirus.
The outbreak that has plagued Staten Islanders in recent weeks dominated the areas with the highest positivity rates. Six out of the 10 top ZIP codes for infection rates came from that borough, along with three areas from southern Brooklyn, and a slice of the Financial District in Manhattan.
The top three ZIP codes were Annadale/Rossville (10312) with a 5.24% positivity rate and 64 new positive cases between July 16-22, followed by Gravesend/Homecrest (11223) at 5.18% and 62 new cases, and Brighton Beach/Coney Island/Seagate (11224), 5.02%, 42 new cases.
All three areas had less than half their population fully vaccinated, with Brighton Beach/Coney Island/Seagate at just 39% of people who got the shots, Gravesend/Homecrest at 43%, and Annadale/Rossville at 49%.
However, there were outliers, such as Staten Island’s Lighthouse Hill/Midland Beach/New Dorp/Oakwood (10306), which has a 4.58% positivity rate despite having 55% of its people fully vaccinated, indicating that the outbreak might be spreading into parts of the borough where more people have been inoculated.
A slice of the Financial District (10005) was the only Manhattan ZIP code in the top 10 with a 4.35% positivity rate, despite having 80% of its population fully vaccinated.
Well over half of the city’s ZIP codes had positivity rates above 2%, or 104 out of the 177 postal areas in NYC, while 54% of New Yorkers have been fully vaccinated and 59% have received at least one dose.
The lowest vaccination rates were mostly in eastern and southern Brooklyn, which made up seven out of the 10 ZIP codes with the lowest percentage of people who got their shots, and the eastern section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens.
At the bottom was Edgemere/Far Rockaway (11691) with only 37% of its population with at least one dose and 33% fully vaccinated, followed by Bedford-Stuyvesant (East)/Ocean Hill-Brownsville (11233) and Flatlands/Midwood (11210), which were tied for 39% for one dose and had 35% and 36% for full vaccinations, respectively.
Some 46 ZIP codes still have more than half of their population completely unvaccinated, and the citywide percentage of people who have yet to get any of the shots is 41.1%.
Conversely, the lowest positivity rates were in areas with above-average vaccination rates, such as Bellerose (11426), which had a 0.35% positivity rate and 59% of its population fully vaccinated, Roosevelt Island (10044) at 0.75% positive and 65% vaccinated, and Auburndale/Murray Hill (11358) at 0.78% positive and 74% fully vaccinated.
Infection rates have been on the rise again since late June, fueled by the more-contagious Delta variant, which accounted for 57% of tested cases during the last four weeks, according to DOH.
The city has logged more than 1,000 new daily cases on July 17 and July 24, crossing that threshold for the first time since May, according to the New York Times’s COVID-19 tracker, and the City Council’s Health Committee chair urged people to wear masks at public gathering spaces and get vaccinated to stem the spread.
“When you’re in a supermarket, store, subway car, movie theater etc, assume someone there may have the virus (and—especially if you’re unvax’d—it may be you),” tweeted Councilman Mark Levine (D–Manhattan), who is also poised to be Manhattan’s next borough president. “Please wear you mask in these places. And if you still haven’t—get vax’d NOW.”
1k+ cases now being reported daily in NYC.
When you're in a supermarket, store, subway car, movie theater etc, assume someone there may have the virus (and—especially if you're unvax'd—it may be you).
Please wear you mask in these places. And if you still haven't—get vax'd NOW.
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) July 25, 2021