The COVID Crisis: The New York City Health Department Releases New COVID-19 Data

As the City continues to confront the disparities of COVID-19, the Health Department today released an updated COVID-19 data page detailing additional demographic information about how the outbreak is affecting New Yorkers from Harlem to Hollis. The data reveals the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on communities of color, with Black and Latino New Yorkers dying around twice the rate of their White counterparts when adjusted for age. The release of this data accompanies an online resource that shows New York City’s response to COVID-19 by zip code. The maps include information on testing, supplies, telehealth, food, education, outreach and support.

“This public health emergency has affected all of our communities,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. “The data also show that this virus is not hitting New Yorkers equitably and that reality is guiding the COVID-19 response. Everyone, particularly older New Yorkers must continue to follow guidance and take precautions to protect themselves.”

This comes as the City continues to scale up its Equity Action Plan in its larger COVID-19 recovery effort. The City has now opened 25 testing sites, with a focus on neighborhoods hardest hit by the virus, and launched comprehensive public awareness campaigns, and expanded telemedicine services.

Features of the updated data page include:

  • An interactive map of rates and counts of cases, deaths, and positive tests by ZIP code that is paired with table with an easy-to-use search function.
  • Tests conducted daily and percent of people with positive test results
  • Detailed information of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths by borough of residence, age, sex and race/ethnicity, and neighborhood poverty level.

The Department of Health also carried out an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on residents of NYCHA. As of May 11, the findings showed that the degree to which residents of NYCHA have been affected by COVID-19 is proportionate to their representation of the city’s population (approximately 4.4%). Overall, there have been 943 NYCHA residents who have died due to COVID-19 who had a lab-confirmed test. An additional 298 passed away who did not have a lab-confirmed test but had probable COVID listed as the cause of death. There have been 7,818 cases of COVID-19 among NYCHA residents.

To expand services, the City has expanded free diagnostic testing through NYC Health + Hospitals, with 25 walk-in, community testing now sites up and running citywide. Six sites have been opened at or near a NYCHA development, with a priority for NYCHA residents.

To further protect NYCHA residents, the City has done the following over the course of the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Distributed face coverings and gloves to all 400,000 residents and hand sanitizer to all NYCHA senior buildings. NYCHA staff has also been provided 70,000 masks and 10,000 pair of gloves to protect themselves and residents. NYCHA’s third party vendor is sanitizing common areas three-times a week at family developments and five-times a week at senior developments.  This is in addition to the regular cleanings at developments. These aggressive cleaning schedules are posted online.
  • Enrolling all NYCHA senior buildings in the food delivery program. The City has already delivered over 920,000 meals to 40,000 NYCHA households since late April.
  • Expanding NYCHA’s wellness call program to all seniors and vulnerable residents. These live, telephone calls are made to check on resident’s health and well-being, and ensure they have all their basic necessities such as medicine and groceries.  Since the start of the outbreak, NYCHA has made 54,000 wellness calls.
  • Invested $5 million to provide free tablets and internet service for 10,000 senior residents to help them remain connected with their loved ones. In partnership with T-Mobile, the City is rolling out this service for seniors in Brownsville, Central Brooklyn, South Bronx, Eastern Queens and Upper Manhattan. The City is also providing training for seniors on how to use these devices.
  • Increased access to employment opportunities prioritizing NYCHA residents for in-demand jobs at H+H and NYCHA. Since mid-March, 114 residents have been hired to positions at H+H and 348 residents have been hired to positions at NYCHA.

Click here for more The CIVDI Crisis information.


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