In Reversal, City Health Department Releases 7-Day Coronavirus Positivity Rate by Zip Code

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media availability at City Hall the day after the election on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The City Health Department has begun updating its website with 7-day coronavirus case rolling average cases by zip code. The city previously stopped releasing information by zip code when the cluster system was initiated, much to the frustration of local officials, who had no way of knowing if case numbers had improved or not.

In his press conference on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that as the city grapples with coronavirus hotspots popping up in several neighborhoods, the Health Department will return to a system of tackling outbreaks with targeted focusing on bringing testing and tracing to specific neighborhoods and zip codes.

“We’re coming back now with the ZIP code information that’s going to allow us to focus on where we need to do the most work, the most testing, the most outreach, the most mask distribution. And it’s important for us to understand, it’s a problem everywhere, but it’s a particular problem in certain neighborhoods,” said de Blasio. “So, to give us that information clearly, so every single New Yorker can participate, our Department of Health is now going to resume putting up data by ZIP code. You’ll be able to see the positivity levels by ZIP code, the trends that are happening, the test results, transmission rates, the things that really will tell you exactly what is going on….we invite all New Yorkers to see what is happening in their communities.”

Though the number of people being hospitalized from suspected coronavirus in New York is 71, out of a threshold of 200, the percentage of tests coming back positive, over a 7-day rolling average, is 2.21%. That percentage, along with the 7-day case average being 779, blowing past the threshold of 550 cases, is “very worrisome…[the] highest we’ve seen in a long time,” said de Blasio. “[These] are numbers that should have us all alarmed and ready to act with everything we got.”

He indicated that more restrictions may be coming if these numbers grow.

Updated Monday, November 9, 2020 at 3:47 pm .

Updated Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 10:09 am .