New York City Warns of Coronavirus Spike, Including in Orthodox Communities |
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New York City officials are urging continued vigilance in fighting the coronavirus, as the city has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in several nei

Sunday, September 6, 2020 at 9:05 pm |

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi at a press conference at City Hall last month. (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

ghborhoods, including some with large Orthodox Jewish communities.

In an email Sunday evening to Orthodox media outlets, Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi wrote, "The neighborhoods that have presented higher proportions of positive COVID-19 tests — when compared to adjacent areas — include the Forest Hills and Far Rockaway sections of Queens as well as the Midwood, Williamsburg and Borough Park sections of Brooklyn. Moreover, we are receiving what we refer to as 'signals,' in smaller sections of these neighborhoods where there are anomalous spikes in cases."

Chokshi's letter also warns that "these communities' past experience with COVID-19, does not guarantee immunity from future transmission. The science has not yet established that any section of New York City has reached herd immunity or even how long immunity lasts after someone has recovered from COVID-19."

Orthodox neighborhoods in the New York City area were hit hard by COVID-19 in March and April, but the disease then seemed to have nearly disappeared, as the community experienced high rates of positive antibody tests and became a major source of donors to national COVID plasma campaigns. A source in Hatzalah told Hamodia that Hatzalah received virtually no COVID calls in New York City during the four month period prior mid-August. Some community members believed that herd immunity had been reached.

But during the past two weeks, Orthodox communities in New York once again started seeing a spike in cases. During that period, according to a medical source in the community who spoke to Hamodia on Sunday, there have been approximately 10 COVID hospitalizations in the community, including serious cases and intubations. Mayor Bill de Blasio said some cases in Boro Park had been linked to a wedding that violated the…
Reuvain Borchardt
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