|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] NYC targeting Jewish neighborhoods for extra
| United States
NYC health department warns of ‘significant concern’ about COVID-19 rise
in largely Orthodox neighborhoods
By Shira Hanau September 22, 2020 7:40 pm
Williamsburg residents look on as protesters pass through the Brooklyn
neighborhood June 12, 2020. (Avi Kaye)
(JTA) – Six heavily Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens are
currently contributing 20% of all new COVID-19 cases in New York City,
and rising cases there are cause for “significant concern,” city health
officials announced Tuesday.
The new data comes amid signs of growing alarm in New York City’s
Orthodox communities about the possible beginning of a second wave of
cases, after a brutal spring and relatively quiet summer.
The city’s health department had been watching the neighborhoods, all
home to large Orthodox communities, for weeks after cases started rising
in August with most attributed to the large weddings held in many
Orthodox communities, particularly Borough Park and Williamsburg.
But the case numbers have continued to rise over the past several weeks,
despite robocalls from health department officials targeting Orthodox
neighborhoods and pleas for testing and mask wearing from the mayor himself.
In several neighborhoods in south Brooklyn, including Midwood, Borough
Park and Bensonhurst — which the health department is now labeling the
“Ocean Parkway Cluster” after the avenue that connects them — as well as
in Williamsburg and Far Rockaway, cases tripled from Aug. 1 to Sept. 19.
In Kew Gardens, a neighborhood in Queens, cases doubled in the same period.
While many of the cases over the last six weeks have been linked to the
large weddings typical of Orthodox communities, which were resumed in
many communities without masks or social distancing by the middle of the
summer, the spread of the coronavirus in the communities has likely been
exacerbated by a number of factors.
As weddings resumed in August, kids started returning from summer camps
and families moved back to Brooklyn after spending the summer months in
bungalow colonies in upstate New York. Schools recently resumed
in-person classes in many Orthodox neighborhoods, with some flouting
social distancing or mask wearing. And synagogue have returned to their
pre-pandemic capacities despite the continued threat of the pandemic, a
sign both of the fervor with which the period of repentance leading up
to the High Holidays are regarded in Orthodox communities and the
widespread sense that the coronavirus pandemic had ended in the
communities long ago.
Orthodox communities in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg,
three neighborhoods home to large Hasidic populations, were hit
particularly hard as the pandemic first hit the United States in March
after celebrations of Purim, a Jewish holiday often marked by parties
and heavy drinking, came as the virus spread in the city but before
restrictions were put in place.
By late spring, many in these communities had returned to normal life,
resuming in-person studies in yeshivas and prayers at synagogues and
largely forgoing the masks that were then becoming a common site in the
To many, the extent to which the communities were battered by the virus
in March gave them a pass to resume normal life as many assumed that the
communities had achieved herd immunity.
Indeed, through much of the summer, local health clinics reported few
new cases of COVID-19 despite the resumption of normal activities.
But in August, the signs of a second wave began appearing in several
communities, with weddings eyed as the culprit.
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
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