Not since early November of last year has New York City seen COVID-19 case and hospitalization totals as low as they are right now, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
With the massive wave of COVID-19 infections around Christmas time, fueled by the highly-contagious Omicron variant, now squarely in the rear view mirror, the city’s 7-day positivity rate had dropped to 3.07% as of Feb. 13. Approximately 1,136 new COVID-19 infections were reported on Feb. 10, the lowest daily number since Nov. 12, 2021, when 1,348 new cases were detected.
The city’s 7-day hospitalization rate, on Feb. 10, was down to just 67 — the lowest average since Nov. 30, 2021, when it was 70. Deaths caused by COVID-19 also continue to fall, down to 34 on Feb. 10 — the lowest total since 36 deaths were reported on Dec. 28, 2021, as the Omicron-fueled wave drove infection rates sky-high.
Even better news was found in the city’s transmission rate, which tracks how fast the virus is spreading. For the first time since early December, transmission is now below the “very high” line, with a rate of 113.62 cases per 100,000 residents reported as of Feb. 10.
The sharp decline in COVID-19 cases prompted Governor Kathy Hochul last week to end the previously imposed mask mandate for businesses and indoor facilities. She also indicated that the state would take another look at the mask mandate for schools in the weeks ahead, with a decision expected after mid-winter recess later this month.
As for COVID-19 cases in individual neighborhoods, the city’s Health Department reported that not one community had a 7-day positivity rate above 10% between Feb. 4-10. The highest rate was found on City Island in the Bronx (ZIP 10464); the seaside community had an 8.33% positivity rate, but just nine new cases detected.
Flushing/Murray Hill/Queensboro Hill, Queens (11355) had the second-highest positivity rate at 6.14%, with 101 new cases. Just four other areas had positivity rates above 5%, three of which are in Queens: Douglaston/Little Neck (11363, 5.66%, 9 new cases), Flushing/Murray Hill (11354, 5.07%, 61 new cases) and Richmond Hill (11418, 5.03%, 46 new cases).
Annadale/Rossville on Staten Island (10312) had the third-highest positivity rate in the city at 5.69%, with 83 new cases.
Sunset Park, Brooklyn (11220) had the most new COVID-19 cases between Feb. 4-10, with 111 — one of only eight neighborhoods citywide with 100 or more new cases during the period. Sunset Park’s 7-day positivity rate was 3.92%.
Four other Brooklyn areas tallied 100 or more new infections between Feb. 4-10: East Williamsburg/Williamsburg (11211, 110 new cases, 1.93% positivity rate); Borough Park (11219, 109 new cases, 2.09%); Brighton Beach/Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay (11235, 108 new cases, 4.59% positivity rate); and Bath Beach/Bensonhurst/Gravesend (11214, 100 new cases, 4.07% positivity rate).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, one Manhattan neighborhood — a portion of the Financial District (10004) — didn’t have a single reported COVID-19 case between Feb. 4-10.
Thirteen other neighborhoods had less than 10 cases, including five in Manhattan: Tribeca (10007, 2 new cases, 0.62% positivity rate), Battery Park City (10282, 3 new cases, 1.69% positivity rate), two Financial District areas (10005, 6 new cases, 1.75% positivity rate; 10006, 7 new cases, 3.68% positivity rate), and Central Harlem (10030, 9 new cases, 0.90% positivity rate).
Even as infections continue to drop, COVID-19 continues to infect unvaccinated New Yorkers at a far higher rate than those who rolled up their sleeves and received the shot. As of Jan. 29, the case rate for the unvaccinated (1,175.04 per 100,000) was five times higher than the rate of vaccinated breakthrough cases (234.37 per 100,000). Unvaccinated New Yorkers also had a hospitalization rate (182.73 per 100,000) more than 18 times higher than their vaccinated counterparts (9.82%). The death rate among the unvaccinated was also eight times higher than among the vaccinated.
Medical officials continue to advise New Yorkers to get vaccinated and boosters if they haven’t already done so.