Sunset Park sees 'uptick' in coronavirus cases; city expanding testing, outreach: de Blasio

By 1010 WINS

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is expanding testing and outreach in Sunset Park after finding an uptick in coronavirus cases in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

“Right now, we’re seeing an uptick,” de Blasio said at his Wednesday briefing. “It’s over a very limited period of time. It’s a very limited number of cases. But we found it by doing exceptionally focused testing, what we call our hyper-local testing.”

De Blasio said “we now have a warning light” in Sunset Park. “We have a sign that there’s something going on that we want to know more about.”

In two weeks in Sunset Park, over 3,300 residents were tested through the Test and Trace Corps, with 228 tests coming back positive.

“When we see any kind of trend that’s unusual, that’s when you double down, that’s when you throw in more focus, more resources,” de Blasio said.

The mayor said the city will be expanding testing capacity and reaching out to residents of the neighborhood starting Wednesday.

“You will see door-knocking, phone calls, lots of activity through local organizations,” the mayor said. “Our idea is to saturate Sunset Park over the next few days—literally reach every member of the community we possibly can, get as many people tested as quickly as possible.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the city is setting up two mobile testing vans, each of which can do 80 to 100 tests per day, in Sunset Park.

The first van will be at the corner of 44th Street and Sixth Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through this Friday and during the same times Monday to Friday of next week.

The second van will be at the Brooklyn Herald Gospel Center at 809 44th St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

And starting next Monday, the city will be extending rapid-point-of-care testing to the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

It will also expand Urgicare Testing with AdvantageCare physicians starting Wednesday at 740 64th St.

Residents can call (866) 749-2660 for an Urgicare appointment.

 “The Sunset Park community is going to see even more of us in the days ahead,” Chokshi said.

At his briefing, de Blasio said 81 patients were admitted to city hospitals with suspected COVID-19 on Aug. 10, the latest day data is available for. That's below the threshold of 200 patients.

The mayor said 296 patients were in intensive care at city hospitals with suspected COVID-19, also below the threshold of 375.

The percentage of people tested who were positive for COVID-19 citywide on Aug. 10 was 1 percent, well below the threshold of 15 percent.