New district death counts have revealed that the zip code with more deaths per capita than any other place in New York is the one that contains Starrett City, a huge apartment tower complex in Brooklyn that is the largest development in federally subsidized housing in the country.
Of the region’s approximately 12,400 residents, 76 have been killed by the virus. Almost 63% of people living in the postal code are black. It is also the postal code with the highest percentage of elderly people in the city, possibly a contributing factor to the high death rate.
Other areas of the city with unusually high death rates shared some characteristics with the complex, which is in a remote part of Brooklyn, not far from Kennedy Airport.
Coney Island in Brooklyn and the Far Rockaway section of Queens both had high death rates, as did the most northeastern parts of the Bronx, including Co-Op City, another huge apartment building on which Starrett City was modeled.
Data released on Monday reinforced earlier revelations that black and Hispanic New Yorkers were twice as likely to be killed by the virus as white people.
And it also showed a direct link between death and poverty.
Neighborhoods with very high levels of poverty recorded an average of 232 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, while areas with low poverty rates recorded 100 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change, a group that advocates for low-income communities, said the disparities were devastating. He said Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats, could have mitigated the impact of the pandemic on the poor.
“It is a crisis that they have not canceled the rent for the millions of people who are unemployed or have to go to work because they cannot pay their rent and are already living in situations of overcrowding and then they bring the coronavirus home because they have to work, they have to pay rent, they have to live, “said Westin.
COVID-19 has killed at least 16,000 New York residents, as well as 4,800 others whose deaths were not immediately confirmed by a laboratory test.