Photo Credit: Maud Newton / Wikimedia
Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, from above in the Fall, looking towards Manhattan near Ditmas Avenue

An urgent warning was sent out Tuesday to Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Queens after health officials noted an uptick of the coronavirus in six New York City neighborhoods, most of them in Jewish areas.

Williamsburg, Borough Park, Midwood, Bensonhurst, Far Rockaway (Edgemere) and Kew Gardens were all named as neighborhoods that raised concern, according to New York City Health Department spokesperson Patrick Gallahue, who said there is a clear uptick in transmission of the virus in some of the city’s Hasidic communities

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“We are concerned about how COVID-19 may be affecting Orthodox communities in these neighborhoods and beyond, and we will continue working with partners, providers and residents throughout the city to ensure that health guidance is followed, which is critical to suppressing the pandemic.”

Some of the rise in COVID-19 cases is being seen specifically in neighborhoods along Ocean Parkway, referred to as the “Ocean Parkway cluster,” many synagogues are located and which runs along the borders of the Midwood, Bensonhurst and Borough Park neighborhoods.

In some of those three areas, 4.7 percent of the tests were coming back positive – a figure much higher than in the rest of the city, which remains stable at one to two percent, according to the release sent to journalists by the Health Department. Cases have tripled since August first in Borough Park, Bensonhurst and Williamsburg, according to ABC7 Eyewitness News.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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