More than half of the 15 New York City areas with the highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rates last week were found on Staten Island, according to the latest city Health Department data.
Yet again, infections are flaring up in a borough that, from almost the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, has resisted efforts to get the crisis under control — from protesting mask mandates and business restrictions, to opposing the ongoing vaccination effort that has sharply slowed the spread of COVID-19 in other parts of the city.
Even with the resistance, the numbers are Staten Island are dropping with infection rates across the city, though eight neighborhoods on The Rock had 7-day positivity rates of 2.52% or higher between Oct. 13-19, according to the city’s Health Department. Still, there’s significant risk of more cases to come on Staten Island because the borough’s transmission rate of 141.97 new cases per 100,000 residents is nearly twice that of the citywide transmission rate of 81.82 per 100,000.
Tottenville, on the southwestern tip of Staten Island (ZIP code 10307), had the second-highest 7-day positivity rate for the week of Oct. 13-19, at 3.70%, with 20 new infections reported there. They were followed closely behind by Arrochar/Midland Beach/Shore Acres (10305) with a 3.57% 7-day positivity rate and 58 new COVID-19 infections.
Two other Staten Island communities saw 7-day positivity rates above 3% for the week of Oct. 13-19: Bloomfield/Fresh Kills Park (10314, 3.07%, 109 new cases); and Graniteville/Mariner’s Harbor/Port Ivory (10303, 3.03%, 31 new cases).
Lower fully vaccinated rates in these communities seems to be contributing to the spread. Citywide, 66% of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with 63% of all Staten Island residents sharing that distinction.
Seven of the eight Staten Island communities with high 7-day positivity rates have fully vaccinated rates below the citywide figure of 66%.
Meanwhile, Borough Park, Brooklyn (11219), had the highest overall 7-day positivity rate last week at 5.56%. The 135 new infections reported there were second only to Williamsburg/East Williamsburg (11211), which had 153 new cases but a 2.44% 7-day positivity rate.
Borough Park continues to have the lowest fully-vaccinated rate in the city at 44%. The second neighborhood on that list, Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Queens (11691), has 45% of its population fully vaccinated — but recorded last week a 2.99% 7-day positivity rate, with 56 new cases.
In all, four communities across the city saw 100 or more new infections over the past week: East Williamsburg/Williamsburg, Borough Park, Bloomfield/Fresh Kills Park, and South Williamsburg, in Brooklyn.
On the flip side, of the 10 New York City communities with the highest fully vaccinated rates (92% or higher), just one neighborhood — Flushing/Murray Hill/Queensboro Hill, Queens (11355) — saw a 7-day positivity rate of 2% or higher between Oct. 13-19. The area recorded a 2.34% positivity rate and 44 new cases.
In fact, not one of the 10 communities had more than 45 new infections int he past week. Six communities had 7-day positivity rates of under 1%, with one portion of the Financial District (10006) not recording a single case.
The Health Department’s data continues to show declining spread of COVID-19 even with activity continuing to ramp up toward pre-pandemic levels, and cooler fall weather settling in. As of Oct. 22, the citywide 7-day positivity rate was down to 1.46%, with the hospitalization rate at 0.67 per 100,000.
The data also shows that the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers falling ill to COVID-19 are unvaccinated. As of Oct. 24, a weekly average of 335.56 unvaccinated persons per 100,000 are contracting the illness, as compared to 68.19 per 100,000 vaccinated individuals.
Hospitalizations and deaths are also far higher among unvaccinated New Yorkers.