This story was reported by Rachelle Blidner, Matthew Chayes, Scott Eidler, Thomas Maier, Bart Jones and Carol Polsky. It was written by Jones.
State and city officials are launching a campaign to stop spread of the coronavirus in “hot spot” clusters that are driving up infection levels in New York City and other parts of the state, including several Long Island neighborhoods.
Areas with higher positivity rates are ZIP codes centered around Huntington Station, Dix Hills and South Huntington, Valley Stream and North Valley Stream, and Brentwood, officials said Wednesday. In all those areas the infection level was 3%, compared to a statewide average of about 1%.
Still, the percentages represent a handful of cases in each of those communities for tests results from Tuesday. The 11746 ZIP code in Huntington areas had 5 positives out of 183 tested; the 11717 ZIP code in Brentwood had 4 out of 125 tested; and the 11580 ZIP code in the Valley Stream area had 4 positives out of 138 tested.
In New York City, the neighborhoods with the highest percentage of positives according to state data were in Brooklyn, with 8% positives, or 29 cases, around Midwood; 6%, or 13 cases, in Mapleton and Bensonhurst; and 5%, or 12 cases, in Borough Park.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his news briefing Wednesday read off a list of “hot spot” ZIP codes mostly in the borough of Brooklyn and in the mid-Hudson counties of Rockland and Orange, but said Nassau County “has a couple of communities affected” with higher positivity rates.
He said the top 20 ZIP codes for the recent spread have a COVID-19 positivity rate of 5.5% and “that’s about five times the infection rate statewide.”
In Rockland County, two ZIP codes have infection levels of 17% and 14%, he said. In all, the 20 hot spot areas account for 23% of COVID-19 cases in the state but have only 6% of the state’s population, he said.
Cuomo called on local governments to step up efforts to enforce mask wearing, social distancing and other rules that aim to limit outbreaks.
New York City officials along with Cuomo said this week that some of the hot spots — including some in Rockland and Orange counties — have large Orthodox Jewish populations. Cuomo said he met Wednesday morning…