Coronavirus updates: State releases latest test data for four restricted areas in New York City

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This is our daily update of the latest COVID-19 news for Friday October 23, 2020. Previous Daily Updates can be found here, and updated statistics are here.New York is in Phase 4 reopening now, including zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and gymnasiums. Parts of Brooklyn and Queens are under a zoned stop. A glance to prepare for the spread of the coronavirus is here, and if you have lingering questions about the virus, here is our Coronavirus FAQs regularly updated. Here are some local and national hotlines for more information: NYC: 311; New York State Hotline: 888-364-3065; NJ State Hotline: 800-222-1222.

Here is the latest:

16 h 45 Governor Andrew Cuomo released new test data on virus hotspots across the state on Friday, including four areas in New York City, which have been subject to a three-tier shutdown system.

In Brooklyn’s Red Zone, which includes Gravesend, Midwood, Borough Park and Flatlands, 2.5% of tests taken Thursday came back positive. The seven-day moving average positivity rate is 4.6%, down from around 6% earlier this month. The trend is in line with what the New York Department of Health reported.

More than two weeks ago, Cuomo announced zoned closures in four areas of the state. Red zone neighborhoods, which have the highest infection rates, have been forced to close all non-essential businesses and schools. Places of worship cannot accommodate more than 10 worshipers at a time.

Cuomo on Wednesday relaxed restrictions in some areas, but kept the same rules in place for the worst-affected red areas.

A swathe of other southern Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Brighton Beach and parts of Kensington and Flatbush, recorded a daily positivity rate of 1.9%, up from 2.1% the previous day. But a bad sign, the seven-day moving average positivity rate – which experts say is a more accurate indicator – has climbed since the start of the month, from 1.4% to 2.4%.

The areas listed above have been placed in yellow areas, which have the fewest restrictions; schools and businesses can remain open as long as they follow certain precautionary measures.

In Queens, where most restrictions were lifted this week, Kew Gardens and Forest Hills posted 1.62% positivity, up from 1.9% the previous day. Those neighborhoods, which were completely moved to a yellow zone this week, posted a seven-day moving average positivity rate of 2.2%, down from 3.7% earlier this month.

Far Rockaway, who is also now a yellow zone, recorded a daily positivity of 1.4%, down from 1.8% the day before. The seven-day moving average positivity rate is around 2%, compared to 2.9%.

The state’s latest report did not include data for Ozone Park, which was added to the yellow zone list on Wednesday.

New York residents who want to know if they live, work, or attend school in any of the affected areas can do so by entering an address in the city’s COVID-19 Zone Finder.

FDA Officially Approves Remdesivir As First COVID Treatment

The Federal Drug Administration on Thursday approved remdesivir, an antiviral drug, as the first fully licensed treatment for COVID-19.

The drug is now cleared for use by adults and pediatric patients aged 12 and older and weighing at least 88 pounds who are hospitalized with coronavirus.

In May, the FDA granted emergency use clearance for remdesivir following a trial that showed it reduced recovery times from 15 days to 10 on average. However, a study recently published by the World Health Organization found that the drug does not prevent patients from dying from coronavirus.

Still, the full approval indicates the federal agency’s confidence in the drug as an effective treatment after further examination of clinical data and production quality.

Remdesivir was among the therapies given to President Donald Trump and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie when they contracted COVID-19.

“Today’s approval is supported by data from multiple clinical trials that the agency has rigorously evaluated and represents a significant scientific milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M Hahn, in a statement.

The drug is produced by Gilead Sciences Inc., based in California. The cost of the remedy is controversial, according to the Associated Press. Those covered by government health programs are billed $ 2,340 for typical treatment, while patients who have private insurance are billed $ 3,120.

Some medical experts on Twitter have criticized the approval of the treatment, arguing that the results so far have been mixed.



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