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COVID Infection Rates Fall in New York, But Roosevelt Island Goes the Other Way


COVID infection rates fall in New York City, now back to where we were in early July. But Roosevelt Island fails to come along as rates rise past 2%.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

COVID Infection Rates, New York City vs Roosevelt Island

While Department of Health statistics show the city COVID infection rates continuing a tumble to 2.19%, the Roosevelt Island community rises over the 2% threshold. It hasn’t been there for months.

Multiple factors contribute in bringing the Island to 2.01% and steadily rising, but one cause is clear. Roosevelt Island lags behind most nearby community in vaccinations.

The nearest Queens communities, Astoria South, Long Island City and Sunnyside, range from 81 to 99 percent at least partially vaccinated. But Roosevelt Island’s been stalled in the mid 70s for over a month. And lower Queens infection rates, from 1.02 to 1.61 percent, reflect that.

Another likely factor is the failure of local authorities to contribute resources or even encouragement. RIOC’s once robust response to COVID trickled down to almost nothing after the current administration moved in. Getting enforcement of mask mandates on Red Buses and the Tram took weeks of public shaming through shared photographs.

And elected officials who once spurred awareness with mask giveaways folded after primary election season.

As with so much else on Roosevelt Island, where political leadership is hard to find, lowering COVID infection rates rests in the hands of residents. A DIY initiative at helping each other with healthy practices remains our best option.

So, protect your neighbors by getting vaccinated. Free options abound, including at Duane Reade next to the subway, and Health and Hospitals announced free boosters for those eligible, available now.

Wear face masks while using indoor public spaces and when using public transit. If you’re comfortable with it, a gentle reminder to others not as conscientious helps.

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