High COVID-19 positivity rates in Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park and Corona Queens have officials looking for answers – CBS New York


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – CBS2 continues to examine areas of the city with the highest COVID positivity rates and what is being done to stop the spread.
Andrea Grymes of CBS2 has visited two parts of Queens in an attempt to bring the virus under control.

Plus: City officials seek answers for high COVID-19 positivity rates in Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan

Gavin Sugrim and his son Adam stood in a line outside the Queens Public Library in Richmond Hill awaiting COVID testing.

“Someone in my house tested and they were positive, so I started to feel a little feverish last night, so… and so did he,” Sugrim said.

Zip code 11419, covering Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, has the highest positivity rate in all of Queens at 15.81%.

This is the second highest rate of the five boroughs, according to the latest figures from the city.

PLUS: New York State passes 1 million confirmed COVID cases, 7-day New York average positivity rate reaches 9.39%

“The culture is older and I’m not sure they fully understand how deadly this thing is, and sometimes they don’t take appropriate action,” Sugrim said.

Queens was the zero point of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City – particularly the Elmhurst Hospital, which at first was completely overwhelmed.

City Councilman Francisco Moya’s district includes not only Elmhurst, but also neighboring Corona. Corona zip code 11368 has a positivity rate of 14.03%.


“We have several families living in one house, several generations that come here,” Moya said. “The majority of the people who live in this region are also essential workers.”

Corona resident Christian Music was awaiting a test at a free mobile site in the city, located on 104th Street and 41st Avenue.

“Not enough testing at all,” he says. “I had to walk 30 minutes because I live in South Corona and it’s the closest to me.”

Moya says they added a second pickup truck here because the demand is so high. He says that while waiting for the distribution of the COVID vaccine, the city must do as much testing as possible.

The mobile test vans will be available until Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then next week they will move to the First Baptist Church in East Elmhurst.



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