KEW GARDENS, QUEENS — The Health Department has added two Central Queens ZIP codes to a list of neighborhoods where cases of the coronavirus appear to be increasing more quickly than in most of New York City.
The city is now monitoring five coronavirus clusters in Central Queens, within the ZIP codes 11415, 11366, 11367, 11374 and 11432, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday.
New to that list are the ZIP code 11366, an area of Fresh Meadows and Hillcrest that saw more than 3 percent of coronavirus tests come back positive over the last two weeks, and 11432 in Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates and Jamaica Hills, where the positivity rate was just under 2.7 percent.
The ZIP codes 11366, 11367 and 11415 are all seeing cases of the virus grow at “alarming” rates, with positivity rates that exceed 3 percent, according to a Health Department advisory sent to reporters Wednesday evening. The positivity rates represent a 14-day average of test.
New York City’s 14-day positivity rate hit 1.43 percent Wednesday, though the daily rate spiked to a high of 3 percent the day before, largely because of the neighborhood-level upticks in Central Queens, Edgemere-Far Rockaway and a swath of Southern Brooklyn deemed the “Ocean Parkway Cluster.”
In response to the upticks in Central Queens, the city is sending more testing resources to the neighborhood, including testing trucks stationed in Rego Park and Kew Gardens this week, and conducting increased enforcement of health and safety guidelines to curb the spread of the virus, officials said.
The city has also opened two “block parties” outside the Kew Gardens LIRR station and at 72nd Drive and Vleigh Place, where streets have been closed and transformed into coronavirus testing sites.
The sites will offer self-swab tests supervised by clinical staff, and results will be available in one to two days, NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz told reporters Wednesday. Each location will be able to offer up to 500 tests a day.
This article originally appeared on the Forest Hills Patch