New York, 29 Sep 2020 (AFP) – The number of new covid-19 infections has started to rise in New York, especially in neighborhoods where many Orthodox Jews reside, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned on Monday (28).
On Saturday, the state recorded more than 1,000 positive cases of coronavirus in one day for the first time since June 5. In the last 24 hours, out of 52,936 tests carried out, 834 were positive, an infection rate of 1.5%, and for months that number was below 1%, said Cuomo on Twitter.
Until then, the governor had bragged about contagion rates in New York, one of the lowest in major American cities, although the ‘Big Apple’ has been the epicenter of the pandemic and has recorded a total of 23,800 deaths since March.
“We are seeing high positive rates in the districts of Brooklyn, Orange and Rockland,” three regions with large populations of Orthodox Jews, noted Cuomo. The infection rate of 1.5%, however, is still low when compared, for example, with Europe.
“Ten postal codes represent 25% of the new cases yesterday (Sunday),” said the governor, who announced that he will send 200 rapid test machines and healthcare professionals to these areas.
In some of the hardest-hit Brooklyn neighborhoods, the contagion rate jumped from 5% to 6%, especially amid the festivities that culminate at Yom Kippur on Monday. The average infection rate in the city is 1%.
The increase in cases worries the authorities because it occurs a few days after the resumption of classes in public schools in the largest American city, which has already been postponed twice.
“We are potentially at the most vulnerable time to the virus that we have seen in recent months,” municipal chief of public health, Dave Choskhi, told reporters on Friday in one of Brooklyn’s most affected neighborhoods as he was booed by unmasked protesters .
The authorities have announced that they will penalize schools that do not apply the mandatory use of masks and the rules of social distance, including in the “yeshivás”, the orthodox Jewish schools where the Torah and the Talmud are studied.