NYC ramps up testing in Sunset Park after uptick in COVID cases
The city will intensify test and trace efforts in Sunset Park after health officials identified over 220 cases of the coronavirus in the Brooklyn neighborhood over the last two weeks. Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday announced that members of the Test and Trace Corps will knock on every door, call all 38,000 households, and direct residents to expanded testing in the community. “Our idea is to saturate Sunset Park over the next few days, literally reach every member of the community we possibly can, get as many people tested as possible, as quickly as possible,” de Blasio said.
According to NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city has tested over 3,300 New Yorkers in Sunset Park for the virus over two weeks, with 228 positive cases identified. That means the infection rate in the area is roughly 6.9 percent, compared to the citywide rate of about 1 percent.
During the press briefing on Wednesday, Chokshi described the effort as a data-driven, hyperlocal response in Sunset Park in order to “break the chain of transmission.” The city conducted a similar effort in Tremont in the Bronx and the Rockaways in Queens.
Two new mobile testing vans will be deployed, with one on 44th and 6th Avenue starting today through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and again next Monday through Friday. Another van will roll out on Saturday and Sunday at the Brooklyn Herald Gospel Center at 809 44th Street, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to the city, each van can conduct between 80 and 100 tests per day.
Rapid testing will also be expanding beginning next week at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and at AdvantageCare Physicians at 740 64th Street starting today. Additional testing sites will be announced in the coming days.
On Tuesday, 87,776 coronavirus tests were conducted statewide, a new record for tests in a single day, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Of the tests conducted, 700, or 0.79 percent, were positive.