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What went wrong? Our coronavirus rate heading in the wrong direction now

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Our coronavirus rate, previously a source of community pride, is heading in the wrong direction now. Infection rates shot up, this week, according to the most recent New York City reports.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

When we reported last week on coronavirus infection rates, Roosevelt Island came in at 1.96%*, one of the best in the city.

*Source: New York City Department of Health, 7-day tracking.

But within days, positivity rates for those tested here bumped up fast. As of March 30th, the latest data from DOH registers Zip Code 10044 at 2.66%. That’s not high. It’s less than half the overall city rate and better than average for Manhattan.

But an increase that great — roughly 40% — in such a short period is a warning signal. The community is no longer among the top ten for low rates in New York.

11 out of 414 tested came up positive, and this may reflect better qualified testing at RIOC‘s testing center. They recently ramped up to antibody testing as a choice after relying exclusively on less reliable rapid testing for months.

Another likely factor, though, is a relaxed attitude toward face masks and social distancing, a trend noted here as well as nationwide. Mix in spring break, and you’ve got the potential for greater exposure.

Our coronavirus rate… where does it go from here?

“Up” is the most likely answer. While the Centers for Disease Control already say the city’s at “extremely high risk,” Roosevelt Island itself avoided high numbers. But a flood of visitors, in the past several days, many wandering around without face masks likely increased exposure.

RIOC seemed unprepared when residents complained of crowds jamming onto the Tram and filling playgrounds.

We will keep an eye on it and follow up as new data becomes available.

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