SECOND WAVE: NYC schools still open as city under 3%; 21 neighborhoods have over 4% COVID-19 positivity | amNewYork

SECOND WAVE: NYC schools still open as city under 3%; 21 neighborhoods have over 4% COVID-19 positivity

Passengers wearing face masks during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ride a bus along 1st Avenue in Manhattan, New York City November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Richmond Hill, Queens now has the highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate in New York City, and more than 20 communities across the city are now registering positivity rates above 4%, according to the latest city Health Department data.

The Mayor’s office announced Saturday that there were 97 new hospital admissions, of which 24.53% of them tested positive for COVID-19. The city’s 7-day test positivity rate was 2.47%, below the 3% threshold that would trigger the potential closing of New York City public schools.

On Friday, de Blasio instructed the city’s Department of Education and parents to begin preparing for the possibility of school closings as early as Monday, Nov. 16, with all instructing shifting to remote learning. 

“Schools currently remain open, based on today’s 7-day test positivity rate,” the Mayor’s office reported Saturday. “We expect the daily test positivity to backfill and increase as more tests results are entered into the system, but do not expect that increase to push today’s 7-day average to 3%.”

Meanwhile, four neighborhoods in New York City now have 7-day COVID-19 positivity rates above 5%. Tops in the city is Richmond Hill, Queens (ZIP code 11418), which registered a 5.5% rate between Nov. 4-10, with 53 new positive cases.

That dropped Tottenville on Staten Island (10307) to second with a 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate of 5.48%, with 28 positive cases. Borough Park, Brooklyn (11219) saw its positivity rate rise to 5.05% with 75 new cases, and Hunts Point, Bronx (10474) breached the 5% threshold with a 5.02% positivity rate and 11 new cases.

In all, 21 New York City ZIP codes now have 7-day positivity rates above 4%.

In a tweet Saturday morning, de Blasio said this weekend will be critical in New York’s efforts to slow the spread amid the second wave of COVID-19 cases.

“We’re still below 3%, but that could change. We MUST fight back a second wave to keep our schools open,” de Blasio tweeted. “This is a critical weekend, and we know what we need to do to beat this pandemic. Wear a mask. Keep six feet apart. Avoid large crowds and gatherings. Wash your hands frequently. Get tested.”

To find a testing site, visit nyc.gov/COVIDtest.

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