On the map of the Big Apple, some poor and Hispanic-majority neighborhoods remain flagged. Given the high third wave of COVID-19, associated with the advancement of the omicron variant, some lSouth and Central Bronx locations, in addition to Corona in Queens, continued this week at the top of the citywide infection rate, but with a notable decrease in new cases, when compared to the last weeks of December.
Between January 5 and 11, localities where the contagion rate almost climbed almost 50% of the positive discard tests, began to show a percentage decrease between 12% and 15%.
The figures from the New York City Department of Health (DOHMH) are very clear: Of the 15 zip codes where the largest number of new infections are concentrated, 12 are in Salsa County.
The panorama was described as “alarming”, because there were localities such as the axis Fordham–Kingsbridge and University Heights, where of 3,783 discard tests applied in the first days of January, 46.89% confirmed the presence of viral infection.
Now, in the last seven days analyzed in those neighborhoods, the numbers have dropped to 30.16%.
In other words, it has been possible to confirm that the curve is stabilizing. For example in Morris Heights, Concourse Highbridge and Hunt Points where almost half of the residents who were screened were infected, now an “improvement” is shown with 29.03%
“still high. There is no reason to let your guard down. But you can talk about a decrease in the number of cases,” they told The newspaper DOHMH sources
Promote more test centers
Facing the “non-stop” trend of confirmed infections, the new president of this county, Vanessa Gibson debuted in office promoting the expansion of more testing sites.
“The positivity averages are alarming. We are encouraging our residents to get tested even though they are experiencing long lines to access the tests”Gibson said.
However, these new expanding sources of the coronavirus, which without surprise appear after the Christmas and New Year holidays, are also accompanied by an official record of 12 times more hospitalizations. If contrasted with the official statistics for November.
Before December 1, the average number of confinements in health centers for acute conditions associated with viral infection, in hospital centers in the Bronx, was around an average of five daily bed assignments. Now, in the latest DOHMH records, climbed the figure to 200.
Overall, New York’s COVID-19 hospitalizations topped the 10,000 mark in January, totaling their highest levels since early May 2020.
New estimates released by the Centers for Infectious Disease Control (CDC) estimate the regional prevalence of omicron to be as high as 99%.
“Alarm under control”
Given the escalation of new infections, the president of the Bronx County, Vanessa Gibson, stressed to local media that despite the figures that climb very high, you can have everything “under control”.
“I think more people getting tested is driving the numbers up. High exposure as well. Many people still don’t wear masks. We also know that many people are not vaccinatedGibson played.
In recent days, several leaders have promoted the distribution of home test kits in public spaces.
While in the five boroughs the percentage of ‘fully’ vaccinated reaches 73% and in Manhattan almost 91%, in the Bronx the official figures show that 67% are fully immunized.
before the new corona virus landscape In a city that has new local authorities, Mayor Eric Adams warned in a sentence that: “We are going to survive this”.
In the reflection made live on ABC, the mayor encouraged New Yorkers not to “see” themselves in the midst of a crisis.
“See yourself beyond the crisis. That negative energy in our country is really destroying our children. We are tired of being prisoners of COVID-19. So let’s be smart. Let’s do social distancing, let’s wear our masks. Get vaccinated and get your booster shot, and then let’s make sure we get tested.”
“It’s a matter of conscience”
Beyond the scientific theories and the approximations of the authorities to interpret the behavior of the new variant, merchants from sectors such as Hightbridge, they have their own “theories” of the virus rebound, in a county that has already seen the worst in the spring of 2020.
For example, the Dominican hairdresser Elizabeth Colón, resident of the Bronx, says that many people even with positive tests continue with their activities in the streets, because what is observed this “type of virus” does not prostrate “almost never” with serious symptoms, especially those vaccinated.
“We see people who felt half sick and still went to the shops, had their parties and at that moment they polluted a crowd”, reasons the immigrant.
The also island hairdresser, Gladys Domingo, who works in a salon on 161st Street and the Grand Concourse, He has several anecdotes about this new high chain of infections.
“For the New Year there were clients who, even knowing they were infected, came to get ready. other than the same they followed his life with a positive test in handinstead of being isolated. It has a lot to do with people’s consciousness. Afterwards, they are the first to question the government if they close everything again”, commented Gladys.
The pandemic, two years later
56.4% of the population of the Bronx is of Hispanic origin, especially from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Mexico. During the first wave of the coronavirus in the Big Apple, which awoke with force in March 2020, in this county more than 3,100 people.
Almost two years later, the panorama looks totally different, in the district considered to be the poorest in New York. Now it has more defense weapons that did not exist at that time, such as vaccines and the overcrowding of discard tests.
Although in the dynamics of the omicron expansion this winter, it is obvious that the number of deaths also began to rise very slightly, compared to last fall and summer, is a far cry from the dire situation when the public health crisis broke out.
The figures are indicating that while the months of September, October and November deaths associated with complications with COVID-19 were weighted, which ranged from 0 to 2 daily, only last January 2 seven Bronx residents died for the same reason.
For its part, the New York City Department of Health (DOHMH) quantifies that they continue to offer more protection shields for residents of this county.
“We have distributed more than 60,000 home test kits through community organizations. Similarly more than 500 thousand KN95 masks along with test kits. In addition to constantly optimizing the service of the itinerant sites to carry out discard tests”, explained Ramón Frisneda, DOHMH spokesman.
Alerts in Corona and Harlem
Although the statistics put Salsa County in the frame of concern, there are two other towns, home to Hispanic communities, that continue to “hot on its heels” in terms of the positivity rate.
In the case of zip code 11368, belonging to Corona, in Queens, Two weeks ago it was close to 44% of positive results, of the total discard tests, but between January 5 and 11 those numbers dropped to 34%. It is precisely the neighborhood that has already dotted the map as the “epicenter of the epicenter” of the pandemic.
Also in East Harlem, in the 10029 zip code, the 40.34% of those tested was diagnosed with the viral infection, now shows much smaller tendencies with 27.18%
The third wave in Hispanic-majority neighborhoods:
- 125 deaths linked with COVID-19 in the Bronx in the last weeks calculated from December 21 compared to 15 during the entire month of November, according to official DOHMH data.
- 132 deaths in Queens between January 1 and January 11, six times more than those confirmed between October, November and December 2021.
- 286 hospitalized for the same reason in health centers in the Bronx on January 7, the highest peak in months when an average of 8 inmates were barely counted.
- 214 patients in health centers queens, occupied a bed due to severe conditions associated with COVID-19 only on January 7, the day with the highest hospital occupancy for this reason, if weighted with a rate of 15 hospitalized patients in the last three months.
- 12 hospitalized with severe symptoms of coronavirus on December 1, which means that the average number of prisons rose 15 times.
- 1,774 positive cases of COVID-19 in 3,783 tests administered in the 10468 zip code of the Fordham – Kingsbridge – University Heights axis. This means a contagion rate of 46.89% between December 27 and January 2. Now the curve has flattened to 31%.
- 46.43% of tests administered in zip code 10453 that belongs to Morris Heights – University Heights reported new coronavirus infections in the same time period. Now down to 30.16%
- 2,054 confirmed infections in the 10452 zip code of Concourse Highbridge of 4,459 people tested. Which means a positivity level of 46%. There the cases have come down until reaching 29% positivity this last week.
- 77 free COVID-19 discard test centers in the Bronx installed by the City, about 20 promoted in the last week, compared to only two test units in May 2020.
Free discard test:
To locate the City-administered COVID-19 screening sites in the Bronx, see the website: nyc.gov/covidtest