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Mayor de Blasio Refuses to Release Complete Neighborhood Breakdown of COVID-19 Cases

Mayor Bill de Blasio at a May 19 press briefing on COVID-19 (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

March 27, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly said that he has no plans of releasing a neighborhood breakdown of coronavirus cases, despite numerous requests from reporters and the public.

The mayor has only released borough breakdowns of the number of cases each day as the pandemic worsens and has said the city hasn’t seen any clusters.

In Queens, more residents have died from COVID-19 than in any other borough. The overall number of cases in Queens has swollen to more than 8,000 as of this morning and 124 of those cases resulted in deaths.

However, those singular figures are the only true data released for a county of 2.2 million people — larger than many cities across the U.S.

A neighborhood breakdown could help depict where resources and aid, as well as more public outreach and education is needed in Queens, experts say.

For example, Elmhurst Hospital has been called the “epicenter of the epicenter” after anecdotes from staff members and patients have painted a dire picture inside the hospital’s walls. In just a 24-hour span this week, the hospital lost 13 patients to COVID-19, officials said.

Council Member Francisco Moya — who was born in Elmhurst Hospital, later worked there and now represents the neighborhood — believes a neighborhood breakdown of COVID-19 cases, as well as data on the current operating capacity of hospitals across the city should be available.

“That information would reveal neighborhoods where the City needs to improve its community outreach and show us where we need to be allocating resources like ventilators, gloves and facemasks accordingly,” a spokesperson for his office said.

De Blasio said his administration has opted not to provide a neighborhood breakdown of cases because the information is continuously changing and he wants to avoid inaccuracies.

However, other places like Nassau County and Los Angeles provide daily numbers of COVID-19 cases for each community within their borders.

The Mayor’s Office released a map this evening that provides a neighborhood breakdown of coronavirus cases — but it only shows the percentage of those tested who came back positive. It doesn’t disclose the neighborhoods that have the most cases.

Theoretically speaking, one neighborhood could have tested 10 people and all 10 were positive for COVID-19, so 100 percent of cases would be positive. Meanwhile, another neighborhood could have tested 1,000 people and had 500 come back positive so only 50 percent of cases would be positive.

Council Member Moya will continue pushing for a higher level of transparency from the Mayor, his office said. 

“This information is not academic; it’s part of the solution.”

The numbers by neighborhood codes

email the author: news@queenspost.com

12 Comments

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Gardens Watcher

Glad poster, I’m north of QB in the Gardens. Yes, most neighbors speak English on my block. My point was they have NO excuse for not heeding the Governor’s directives, which have largely been given in English.

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Glad i moved

Everyone speaks English in sunnyside????
What year was this? 1950?
Nobody speaks English on the south side of queens Blvd

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Joe

Many hospitals closed because so many uninsured people were treated and weren’t able to pay or slow payments from insurance companies. I don’t think that hospitals were closed for fun.

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Gardens Watcher

Guest, Do you really expect the hospitals have the staff or the time to give that level of detail???

No one chooses to get sick. The virus is widespread in the community and is hitting everyone and everywhere. It’s a false sense of security if you think you can’t get infected because you don’t fit the demographics of current victims.

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Gardens Watcher

El Loco is right. Every time one person goes out, you risk getting the virus, getting hurt by accident, etc. which could land you in the hospital. Cut down your risk factors. Wear a mask or cover your face.

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El loco

Looks like SUNNYSIDE has a high rate of infection. Everyone please stay safe! Stay home. If you have to go out stop going out as a couple. One of you can go out at a time.

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Larry Penner

So much for his promise to be the most open transparent administration in the history of municipal government.

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Woodside Resident

Maybe if the city did not close so many hospital perhaps Elmhurst Hospital would not be so overwhelmed & understaffed . Its so unhealthy for Elmhurst to treat patients as I been seeing on TV . I personally will stay away from that hospital.

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Guest

Need numbers on Age, Location, Preexisting conditions, Income Level, Education and Occupation.

Non of this is identifiable information and if we ask Google I bet it can give us all information right away. The problem is city is somehow not willing to share info due to some random underlying reasons. Why wouldn’t you release this? We need cops patrolling and making announcements like they did in Italy and Asia.
Remind people in Spanish and English.

Just stay home please.

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Gardens Watcher

Read the Elmhurst physician’s account on the Jackson heights post. Sunnyside is on the verge of becoming the next Elmhurst, despite everyone out on my street right now surely understands English.

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