|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] War on the Jews taking a real uptake
Uptick in COVID-19 Seen in NY Jewish Communities
Hana Levi Julian
Photo Credit: Maud Newton / Wikimedia
Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, from above in the Fall, looking towards
Manhattan near Ditmas Avenue
An urgent warning was sent out Tuesday to Jewish communities in Brooklyn
and Queens after health officials noted an uptick of the coronavirus in
six New York City neighborhoods, most of them in Jewish areas.
Williamsburg, Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Far Rockaway
(Edgemere) and Kew Gardens were all named as neighborhoods that raised
concern, according to New York City Health Department spokesperson
Patrick Gallahue, who said there is a clear uptick in transmission of
the virus in some of the city’s Hasidic communities
“We are concerned about how COVID-19 may be affecting Orthodox
communities in these neighborhoods and beyond, and we will continue
working with partners, providers and residents throughout the city to
ensure that health guidance is followed, which is critical to
suppressing the pandemic.”
Some of the rise in COVID-19 cases is being seen specifically in
neighborhoods along Ocean Parkway, referred to as the “Ocean Parkway
cluster,” many synagogues are located and which runs along the borders
of the Midwood, Bensonhurst and Borough Park neighborhoods.
In those three areas, 4.7 percent of the tests were coming back positive
– a figure much higher than in the rest of the city, which remains
stable at one to two percent, according to the release sent to
journalists by the Health Department. Cases have tripled since August
first in Borough Park, Bensonhurst and Williamsburg, according to ABC7
Rockland's COVID-19 positive test rate hits 4.7%; active cases increase
in Spring Valley, Monsey
Rockland County's percentage of positive COVID-19 test results hit 4.7%
on Tuesday, compared to the statewide positive rate that day of .94%.
The numbers were reported by the state on Wednesday.
According to the state Health Department's COVID-19 Tracker, 63 of 1,341
tests registered for Rockland on Tuesday showed a COVID-19 diagnosis.
On Wednesday, Rockland had 460 active cases of COVID-19.
The free Covid-19 testing center at the Ramapo Cultural Arts Center in
Spring Valley Sept. 23, 2020.
During a Tuesday afternoon Facebook presentation, Rockland County
Executive Ed Day said that the county had 382 active cases of the virus,
up from 272 cases a week earlier.
"But it’s still barely 1/10th of 1% of the population," Day said. He
reiterated important safety measures — wearing face coverings,
practicing social distancing and frequent handwashing.
County officials have said that a seven-day rolling average of positive
cases provides a better gauge of virus status. On Wednesday, Rockland
reported a 3.15% positive-test average for the past seven days. The
statewide seven-day average remained below 1%.
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The largest number of recent cases have been tracked in the eastern
portion of Ramapo, specifically the ZIP codes for Spring Valley/10977
On Wednesday, Spring Valley reported 160 active cases and Monsey had 150
active cases, according to Rockland County Department of Health figures.
Active virus means that a person had received a diagnosis within 14
days, considered to be when a person is most likely contagious.
Although the two ZIP codes are home to about 33% of the county's
population, Day said on Tuesday that the Spring Valley and Monsey areas
included 67% of Rockland's active cases.
Denise Cook, left, and Amie Cook work at Covid-19 testing center at the
Ramapo Cultural Arts Center in Spring Valley Sept. 23, 2020.
Last week, Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht and community leaders issued
safety reminders in English, Yiddish and Spanish, and distributed masks
at area stores.
Starting today, the town is hosting another COVID-19 testing clinic at
the Ramapo Cultural Arts Center, 2 Dr. Berg Lane (corner of Main Street)
in Spring Valley. Testing is offered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. free,
regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status. Call
888-364-3056 for information.
John Lyon, Rockland County spokesman, said on Wednesday that the county
continues to work closely with community leaders and others to educate
and inform Rocklanders about COVID-19 safety measures.
"These commonsense precautions are the only tools we have to fight this
disease; following them will help limit the further spread of COVID and
protect our families, friends and neighbors," Lyon said. "We strongly
urge all Rockland residents to do their part."
The numbers are shifting as some public and private schools have begun
The rise in cases also comes as the Jewish High Holidays are underway,
with Rosh Hashannah last week and Yom Kippur beginning Sept. 27.
Sukkot starts Oct. 2. Health officials in 2018 tracked a measles
outbreak in parts of Rockland County to the holiday, during which
families share much time together in a sukkah, or temporary hut. The
measles cases appeared to start when a visitor was infected with the
virus, county and state health officials have reported.
County officials have repeatedly pointed out that although more positive
COVID-19 tests are being registered, the county's hospitalization rate
remains low. On Wednesday, seven people were in Rockland County
hospitals being treated with a confirmed case of COVID-19; another
patient was under investigation for the virus. At the height of the
pandemic in April, Rockland County's COVID-19-related hospitalizations
New York State Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond said New York
now had one of the lowest infection rates in the nation, thanks to
residents' practice of safety guidelines. He said the state would watch
Rockland's results. "As there is always some fluctuation in the daily
rates, we’ll continue to closely monitor the data and take action when
necessary, while also recognizing that this pandemic is not over and
people shouldn’t let their guard down,” he said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Rockland has suffered 675
To view Rockland County's COVID-19 dashboard information go to
NYC Scrambles To Contain "Ocean Parkway Cluster" Of COVID-19 In South
By Elizabeth Kim
The New York City Health Department has singled out a portion of South
Brooklyn as having a high number of coronavirus cases, prompting concern
about the potential for another COVID-19 outbreak at a critical period
during the pandemic.
In one of the highest testing positivity rates seen in recent months,
4.71% of tests performed in the neighborhoods of Midwood, Borough Park
and Bensonhurst have come back positive in recent weeks.
The city's overall positivity rate has hovered around 1% for more than
Health officials are now categorizing the South Brooklyn uptick as "the
Ocean Parkway Cluster." The city does not break cases down by religion,
but the area has a significant Orthodox Jewish population and officials
have previously cited the community for social distancing violations
associated with funerals and religious events. Last month, Mayor Bill de
Blasio attributed 16 new cases in Borough Park to a large wedding. But
the mayor has refrained from explicitly mentioning the Jewish community,
after he was criticized for singling them out during a large funeral
gathering in Williamsburg.
During his press briefing on Wednesday morning, de Blasio said that the
city would be taking "immediate action."
Dr. Mitchell Katz, the head of the public hospital system who grew up in
Ocean Parkway, warned of the dire consequences of not taking the proper
precautions. He noted that his father had died from covid two nights ago
in Israel, which recently issued a second lockdown order amid worsening
"In the absence of us doing the right thing we will need to be in a
lockdown situation," he said. "We don't want that. We want people to
wear masks, we want them to stay apart, to not have any large gatherings."
"There are easier ways for us to go on with our lives," he added.
Asked about the cause for the uptick, Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson
for the Department of Health, said he could not provide further
information and that an investigation is still underway.
Several members of the Hasidic community told Gothamist they were
worried about the upcoming Yom Kippur holiday. “There are packed
services in every Shul every day,” one source said. “Covid is barely an
afterthought in these parts.”
Hatzalah, the Jewish ambulance service, earlier this month warned of an
uptick in cases. And according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, some
Orthodox leaders in Brooklyn urged members of their community not to
invite outside visitors for the upcoming high holidays of Rosh Hashana
and Yom Kippur.
The ultra-Orthodox community has been hit hard by the virus, with
Hasidic news media reporting that some 700 members died in the early
weeks of the virus.
Three other neighborhoods were also identified by the city as having
large case increases beginning at the end of July: Williamsburg, and two
Queens neighborhoods, Kew Gardens and Far Rockway.
Kew Gardens is near St. John's University. Between September 12th to
September 25th, the university reported 7 cases at its Queens campus.
Cases in the Ocean Parkway area, Far Rockaway and Williamsburg have
tripled over roughly the last eight weeks.
Altogether, the four neighborhoods comprise 20% of all new cases
citywide. The number of new infections rose noticeably in the first half
of the month, peaking to 303 on September 14th. It has since begun to
"At this point in time, these increases could potentially evolve into
more widespread community transmission and spread to other neighborhoods
unless action is taken," the Department of Health wrote in an email
Tuesday evening. "We are monitoring the situation for the need to take
further steps in these areas."
The alert from the city comes as the city braces for what some experts
say could be a resurgence or "second wave" of the virus as schools
reopen, more employees go back to work and restaurants prepare to expand
with indoor dining at the end of the month. On top of that, the change
in seasons and colder weather is expected to bring more people indoors,
adding to the risk of aerosol transmission.
On Tuesday, de Blasio spoke about the uptick in the aforementioned
neighborhoods and said that the city would launch a targeted outreach
effort in those neighborhoods.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city's health commissioner, said city officials
were blanketing the neighborhoods with robocolls, WhatsApp messages,
communicating with houses of worship, and placing ads in local
newspapers. It is also distributing masks and sanitizers in those
"Covid is spreading in some neighborhoods faster and wider than the rest
of the city," Chokshi said.
Jake Offenhartz contributed reporting to this story.
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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