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Corona Has the Most COVID-19 Cases in the City With Almost 1,000 Infected

Queens is highlighted in yellow (NYC Department of Health)

April 2, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Corona, the Queens neighborhood that shares the same name as the horrid virus, has the most COVID-19 cases in New York City — with nearly 1,000 cases in its zip code, according to newly released data.

Elmhurst has the second greatest number of cases and Jackson Heights is high on the list of neighborhoods as well.

The new data released by the NYC Department of Health yesterday confirms multiple anecdotes that Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona are the neighborhoods at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hundreds of people who live in the neighborhoods — represented by zip codes in the data set — surrounding the heavily burdened Elmhurst Hospital have contracted the virus.

As of March 31, 947 residents of Corona (11368), 831 residents of Elmhurst (11373) and 492 residents of Jackson Heights (11372) have contracted COVID-19.

The Department of Health provided the numbers from March 31 when the city’s total cases was at 38,936 — those numbers have since swollen to 45,707 yesterday afternoon.

The higher number of cases may be tied to poverty. Many lower income areas have a higher number of coronavirus cases. In Corona, about 20 percent of residents live below the poverty level.

The Rockaway Peninsula, also in Queens, illustrates this trend.

Far Rockaway — where 21.4 percent of the population lives below the poverty line — has 436 COVID-19 cases. Conversely, Breezy Point, on the western portion of the Rockways— where just 3.1 percent of the population lives below the poverty line — has only 25 confirmed cases.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, the CEO of the City’s public Health + Hospitals network, was unable to pinpoint exactly why the numbers were high in the Elmhurst-Corona areas at a press briefing in city hall yesterday afternoon. However, he noted that many people who reside in Queens’ poorer neighborhoods live in cramped quarters where multiple people share space making it easier for the virus to spread.

“We know that in Queens, many families — because of poverty — live together in very close quarters, so that while we’re practicing as a city social distancing, you may have multiple families living together in a very small apartment,” Katz said. “So it’s easy to understand why there’s a lot of transmission of COVID occurring.”

Corona’s average household size is 3.9 people — about 1.4 times the average household size across the city — according to Census data, however that number is likely underreported.

The Department of Health (DOH) released the raw data yesterday after reporters repeatedly asked the mayor and his administration to disclose the number of cases per neighborhood as other places like Nassau County and Los Angeles have done.

The mayor first released a map Friday that failed to provide any meaningful data. It merely showed the percentage of those tested who came back positive by hospital zone. Earlier this week he then released an updated map that took the same data, but by zip code.

The DOH released a new map yesterday along with the raw data. However, neither detailed the number of COVID-19 deaths per zip code or neighborhood.

The City’s map (above) has four brackets with a different color code provided based on the number of cases. The ranges are wide — making it difficult to get an idea of what neighborhoods have been the most hard hit without reviewing the actual data.

For example, the first bracket range is 6 to 112 cases — a 106 point range, the second bracket range is 112 to 182 cases — a 70 point range, the third bracket range is 182 to 306 cases — a 124 point range, and the last bracket is 306 to 947 cases — a whopping 641 point range.

The above Queens Post interactive map details the exact number of COVID-19 cases in each zip code. It also illustrates that the outer boroughs have seen larger numbers of coronavirus cases than Manhattan.

Queens, which is on the forefront of the pandemic with the most coronavirus cases and resulting deaths (15,217 cases and 447 deaths as of 4:30 p.m. yesterday), has several zip codes where hundreds have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Other Queens neighborhoods with high numbers include Ridgewood/Glendale with 425 cases, Forest Hills with 418 cases, Jamaica Hills and Jamaica Estates with 405 cases.

Woodside, East Elmhurst, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Springfield Gardens each have more than 300 confirmed cases of coronavirus as well, according to the data.

Dr. Katz said the large numbers in Queens and the lack of hospitals in the borough has led to Elmhurst Hospital being overburdened.

“Queens has about half the number of hospital beds per thousand persons than Manhattan and especially where Elmhurst is,” Katz said at the press briefing.

Queens has the fewest hospital beds per capita in New York City, despite being the second-most populated borough with 2.3 million residents. It has just 1.66 beds per 1,000 residents, according to a February report by the Queens Borough President.

Katz said that the influx of coronavirus patients at Elmhurst Hospital in the past 10 days has led to significant changes. The hospital went from 29 ICU beds 10 days ago — to 111 ICU beds today.

In 2009, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst lost two now-desperately needed hospitals, according to Council Member Daniel Dromm.

“We lost two hospitals in 2009 in my Council district alone before I was elected,” Dromm wrote on Twitter. “St. John’s and the old Jackson Heights Hospital. Hospital consolidation forces many to go to Manhattan.”

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10 Comments

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E Edwards

I get off the exit ramp of the BQE every day. The migrant workers are still lined up and congregationg in front of the “CHILDRENS PARK” on 69st and Broadway. All the storefront illegal c/o mosques in Woodside are operating as if nothing is going on. Including the mosque on Skillman and 48st. CNN ” Anderson Cooper” had a reporter go out to UTAH and find a church congregation of caucasian Americans and denounce them as unpatriotic idiots. Could have saved the airfare by just crossing the 59st bridge and walking into any mosque or home depot parking lot…….the left will not be satisfied until this country is brought down and western culture destroyed.

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Anon

@Sal and Harriet- Your posts are quite confusing. 1)Elmhurst is heavily Asian (Mandarin China Town) community with a large percentage of people already wearing masks and it still has the highest infection rate in Queens. Same with Flushing and much of Corona. 2) Northwest and Northeast Queens infection rates are much lower than Corona,Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Flushing, Northeastern & Northwestern Queens share transportation, schools shopping facilities and much more with the highly infected areas. The differences between the communities are pretty much demographic and living conditions. My aunt lives on 93rd Street right down the block from the police precinct, when I visit and park on 94th Street I am amazed by how many people go in and out of some of the old Archie Bunker Houses. Recently in Chinatown and Lower East Side a developer bought property they illegally divided into something like a micro apartment where the new duplex shared the very same window, this modification could be seen from the street. It was in the N.Y. Post. It’s obvious packing so many people into tight spaces is the culprit here. Even the Elmhurst Hospital Doctor interviewed on TV said the patients were sent home with no place to quarantine. You sound like you’re trying to politicize this issue. Your post does not add up with the facts.

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Primo Obregon

The NYC Dept. of Buildings does not do random inspections of premises. If you see or suspect an illegal dwelling please call 311 and report it is a matter of life and death. If the tenants refuse entry on an illegal dwelling complaint 2 times the police will return with the inspectors and force entry to the premises. Please be safe all

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Sal

@Mac..I agree. But perhaps if we were told the truth from the beginning about how masks may help to reduce infection like other Asian countries have been saying for the past three months we would of been in a better place in NYC to battle this virus. Its not just about social distancing anymore it is transmitted by talking and breathing. The truth is slowly coming out here in the states which was implemented this way to prevent people from buying them.

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Harriet

No wonder its spreading so rapidly. We were told not to wear masks. Should of followed the asians that we laughed at for wearing them in our neighborhood weeks ago. I am sure our leaders and their loved ones are only wearing scarves as masks as they recommend to keep the demand of n95 masks down.

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Geo

Experts tell White House coronavirus can spread through talking or even just breathing! I read this online weeks ago from Asian countries. But I still couldn’t find any locally. Now Amazon blocks sale of N95 masks to the public and begins offering supplies only to hospitals,

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Guest

Amount of money we’ve been paying in taxes and health insurance, there are still not enough hospitals. Don’t even get me started on hospital monopoly.

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Mac

I have posted time and time again on the various Queens Post comments stream about the illegal sub dividing and lack of code enforcement especially in Elmhurst and Corona. Please enforce the occupancy codes laws and ordinances. This is not racism, these laws were put into affect when these areas were occupied by mostly people of European ancestry. It’s a matter of life and death. The city has blood on its hands for not enforcing the laws.

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Carol

In NYC, they have to take under consideration that low income residents qualify for low cost and many times no cost healthcare through programs like Medicaid. This leads many people to use hospitals and ER’s as doctor offices and not worry about payment. Elmhurst is a (free) testing site so obviously more people in the neighborhood were going there to get tested. Federal, state and city benefits are practically pushed in the faces of poorer communities and encouraged through many ads and programs in various languages. I am sure the numbers will increase in other neighborhoods as more get tested and more sites become available. I was told by my private doctor to stay home by telephone. I have never been tested despite showing symptoms because I cannot find a place near me to do it.

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