‘Better picture’ emerges from 2 coronavirus hikes in Brooklyn

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BROOKLYN, NY – Accelerated testing and tracing in two Brooklyn neighborhoods where health officials feared a coronavirus spike revealed a “better picture” of the rise, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

Sunset Park and Borough Park are now recording a 2.5% seven-day mobile average infection rate, or the percentage of coronavirus tests that came back positive, after the city’s Test and Trace Corps descended on neighborhoods .The averages are still higher than New York City’s overall infection rate, which was 0.83% on Wednesday. But, especially in the case of Sunset Park, it’s a good sign that officials are ahead of an increase in cases, de Blasio said.

Sunset Park’s infection rate at one point was close to 7 percent.

“We’re seeing a more complete picture, and it’s a better picture,” de Blasio said. “These additional tests allowed us to get a more complete picture and to encourage people who needed a safe separation to do so. “

City officials knocked on 16,700 doors in Sunset Park and administered 8,500 coronavirus tests in the neighborhood after first noticing a “red flag” of 228 positive cases in early August.

The testing blitz quickly revealed that specific households, rather than a cluster of neighborhoods, were the cause of the rise, officials said.

A similar ramp-up of Test and Trace is still underway in Borough Park, where a slight increase of 16 cases linked largely to a local wedding was found last week.

De Blasio said on Wednesday that more positive cases had been found since the testing blitz, but the infection rate was still 2.5%.

“We are seeing results that give us comfort,” said de Blasio. “The testing and tracing effort goes deeper into this community. “

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