STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The rate at which Tottenville residents were testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) last week was the highest in all of New York City.
From Nov. 1-7, the average rate at which residents in the 10307 ZIP code were testing positive was 5.7%, compared to a citywide average of 2.3%, according to city Health Department data.
The percentage in Tottenville by the end of the week represented a 1.8% hike from what was being reported at the start of that week.
In neighborhoods in the 10309 ZIP code, which borders Tottenville to the north, the average positive rate last week was 3.2%.
The numbers in Tottenville also surpassed those in ZIP codes considered by city officials as hot spots, amid data showing troubling increases.
In the 10305 ZIP code, which includes Dongan Hills, Rosebank and Midland Beach, the average rate was 3.5%.
CITY HALL ISSUES WARNING
Last week, as many as five ZIP codes on Staten Island had positivity rates exceeding 3%.
Mayor Bill de Blasio cautioned Monday that a second wave of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections is “dangerously close” as infection rates continue rising in the city.
There were 91 more cases of the virus on Staten Island reported Monday into Tuesday. At the same time, the number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the borough reached its highest tally dating to late June.
“The case numbers continue to increase — that is a problem,” de Blasio said. “We’re seeing household transmission, we’re seeing community spread, we’re seeing things we have not seen in a long time, and we have to stop them.”
On Staten Island, as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, 17,718 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported since the pandemic’s outbreak eight months ago, while 1,102 Islanders are believed to have died.
Nationwide, amid recent surges in hospitalizations and deaths for the first time in less populated states, 239,000 people had died, as of Tuesday. Citywide, the suspected coronavirus death tally had reached 24,087.
Deaths reported out of Tottenville this year included a grandfather and grandmother who contracted the virus and died one week apart at Staten Island University Hospital, Prince’s Bay.
BORELLI: KEEP BUSINESSES OPEN
Responding to the most recent data in Tottenville, Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) said Tuesday it’s no time for government shutdowns.
For starters, said Borelli, the hard numbers show 28 residents in the 10307 ZIP code tested positive last week, out of 428 tests.
“We should not rush to institute a lockdown,” he said. “(Residents) just need to take personal responsibility for their actions. Wear a mask, avoid unnecessary indoor gatherings.”
Citing what he described as a small business district in Tottenville — compared to other commercial sections of the borough — Borelli said it’s likely the increase is tied to social gatherings and first responders who live in Tottenville, rather than restaurants and retailers being open.
In other parts of the five boroughs, city officials have embraced a new strategy to address COVID spikes, by shutting down businesses and schools with block-by-block infection data.
“To have government officials giving fines to business owners while (Biden supporters) are parading in the streets miles away has eroded trust and credibility in any of the COVID guidelines,” Borelli said.
The councilman said he tested negative this week for the virus, after learning a friend who is a firefighter, and lives in Tottenville, had recently become infected. He urged Staten Islanders to get tested if they find themselves in a similar situation.
NEWLY-DISCOVERED HEALTH RISKS
While fatalities and reports of respiratory issues lingering months after a positive test are most commonly associated with the coronavirus, researchers across the globe continue to study what could be other complications.
A study published last week in The World Journal of Men’s Health suggests that some men infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) are at risk of the disease spreading to their testicles, as researchers further examine how easily it might be transmitted to a sexual partner.
In other new data compiled by University Hospitals and elsewhere, researchers found that both pre-existing kidney disease and complications to the organ caused by COVID-19 are linked to a higher risk of death.
In September, a study published in the BMJ medical journal stated pregnant or recently-pregnant women who tested positive while in the hospital were found to be less likely to have symptoms of fever and muscle pain, but more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit.