The Bronx inched near 200,000 COVID-19 cases entering Monday, and after a few weeks of low transmission of the virus in Bronx neighborhoods, the borough’s northernmost region, the Wakefield section saw a sharp rise in cases this past week.
The Wakefield/Woodlawn 10470 zip code surpassed the city’s seven-day median of 5 cases per 100,000 residents, with 8.6 cases per 100,000, according to NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Sixty-seven percent of residents in the area, however, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Bronx accounts for 199,977 of New York City’s 2.5 million COVID-19 cases, which is behind Brooklyn and Queens for highest share of the city’s COVID-19 cases. Brooklyn and Queens, combined, account for more than 600,000 cases in the city.
In some areas of the Bronx, like City Island — which has a 75% vaccination rate — COVID-19 cases were nonexistent, as 10464 zip code saw zero cases last week.
Vaccinations should expand to NYC’s younger populations soon after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its formal approval Friday of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11.
While the Bronx has seen increases in vaccination throughout the borough — the Morris Park, Parkchester and Riverdale sections continue to pace the borough — a host of northern and southern Bronx zip codes are still well under the city’s 74% vaccination threshold.
Monday marked a major shift in the city’s vaccination efforts, as the city’s vaccine mandate for its entire municipal workforce took effect, with more than 22,000 employees subject to unpaid leave as officials hone contingency plans for potential staff shortages.
On Friday, a crowd of 50 municipal workers gathered outside the Bronx Borough Courthouse in the Melrose section decrying the mandate. As American and Gadsden flags waved among chants of “No vaccine mandate” and “our bodies our choice,” protestors argued that the vaccine limits their personal, medical and religious freedoms as reasoning for not getting the shot.
However, the looming mandate did lead to increased vaccinations among municipal workers, with nine in 10 New York City municipal workers have receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
As of Monday, 91% of the city’s 300,000 employees were in compliance with the mandate. The NYPD, which employs about 36,000 officers and 19,000 civilian employees, reported an 84% vaccination rate, up from 70% on Oct. 20, the day de Blasio expanded the mandate.
NYC Workforce Vaccination Summary by Agency
% of agency with at least one vaccine dose by date (Data courtesy: City Hall)
|Total City Workforce||84%||91%|
|10/20 Mandate-Affected Workforce||71%||85%|
The coronavirus is responsible for more than five million confirmed deaths around the world as of Monday, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Reach Robbie Sequeira at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.