Crunching the COVID-19 Numbers: Most NYC nabes had less than 1% COVID-19 rates, but Black and poor areas still lag behind

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination event outside the Bronx Writing Academy school in New York City
72-year-old Jay Hernandez receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during a vaccination event for local adolescents and adults outside the Bronx Writing Academy school in the Bronx borough of New York City, New York, U.S., June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A vast majority of New York City neighborhoods had COVID-19 positivity rates of 1 percent or less over the past week, but poor and Black neighborhoods still have low vaccination rates, according to the latest city data.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recorded zero new coronavirus cases in 13 ZIP codes, just one new case in 19 neighborhoods, and two in 16 areas. Meanwhile, 149 ZIP codes had a 7-day positivity rate of 1% or less out of 177 total ZIP codes citywide the agency measured from May 28-June 3.

New York City Health Department

The citywide 7-day average of people testing positive was 0.73% as of June 4 and no precinct logged above 2%, but racial and socio-economic disparities remained as the areas with the highest positivity rates are mostly predominantly Black and brown working class neighborhoods.

Rosedale in southeast Queens (ZIP 11422) had the highest positivity rate in the five boroughs from May 28-June 3, at 1.95% and 15 new cases, followed by Soundview, Bronx (10472) 1.91% and 22 cases, and Rego Park, Queens (11374) with 1.57% and 13 cases.

By contrast, the 13 neighborhoods with zero new cases were in mostly well-heeled and overwhelmingly white parts of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, such as the Financial District (10005), Wakefield/Woodlawn (10470), and Long Island City (11109), data show.

Wealthy Manhattan also dominated the areas with the highest rates of full vaccinations (one-and-done shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, or both doses of the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) as the citywide rates for at least one dose is just above half at 52.2% and at 44.7% for full vaccinations.

The Financial District (10004) had the highest rate of fully vaccinated people at 90%, followed by Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown Manhattan (10036) with 81% and another part of the Financial District (10006) at 80%.

At the other end of the spectrum, predominantly poor, Black neighborhoods had the lowest rates of only one shot with less than one in three (32%) residents of Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Queens, (11691) getting the shot, followed by a four-way tie of Brooklyn ZIP codes that logged 34%, including Flatlands/Midwood (11210), Canarsie (11236), Borough Park (11219), and Bedford-Stuyvesant (East)/Ocean Hill-Brownsville (11233).

New York City Health Department

Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated a record-low positivity level on the state level of 0.52% across a 7-day average following a decline for the past 62 days, along with 549 new cases and below 1,000 cases for the 10th consecutive day in the Empire State.