The NYC Department of Health said Tuesday there is a COVID-19 cluster in parts of Southern Brooklyn.
Neighborhoods with large increases in COVID-19 cases from the week ending Aug. 1 to the week ending Sept. 19 include the Ocean Parkway area, consisting of Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst, with an infection rate of 4.71.
“The situation, particularly in Southern Brooklyn, is causing a lot of concern,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday. “We have a lot to do because we are seeing a serious uptick in multiple neighborhoods simultaneously and it’s something we have to address with a very aggressive public health effort right away.”
Increases were also found in Williamsburg (2 percent), Kew Gardens (2.24 percent) and Edgemere-Far Rockaway (3.69 percent).
“This increase has led to these four areas making up 20 percent of all cases citywide as of Sept. 19,” the Department of Health said. “At this point in time, these increases could potentially evolve into more widespread community transmission and spread to other neighborhoods unless action is taken. We are monitoring the situation for the need to take further steps in these areas.”
De Blasio said a testing center is open on Fort Hamilton Parkway and 41st Street and that it’s “crucial for people to get tested in that community. And we have other areas where we need to really focus more, and we’re going to see expanded community outreach efforts into neighborhoods where we are seeing some upticks in the last day.”
“As we’ve done in Sunset Park and Tremont, in Borough Park, in Soundview, now in Ozone Park and elsewhere, we’re launching a targeted approach that applies more pressure where there is growth in COVID-19 rates,” said Commissioner Dave Chokshi of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Chokshi said the department will launch robocalls and WhatsApp messages, communicate with houses of worship, give out core-four palm cards to businesses, and distribute masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. It will also place additional ads in community newspapers and offer new point-of-care testing.
“We have the tools to hold COVID at bay,” said Chokshi. “We do this by avoiding large indoor gatherings, as well as the core four – particularly wearing face coverings if you’re older than two, maintaining at least six feet of distance from others, hand-washing, and staying home if you’re ill.”
For more information or to find a testing site, visit nyc.gov/covidtest or call 311.