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Forest Hills Added to Areas of Concern as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Neighborhood

COVID-19 testing (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Oct. 5, 2020 By Allie Griffin

City health officials are keeping a close eye on Forest Hills as COVID-19 cases in the neighborhood are rising, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The City added the neighborhood, represented by the 11375 ZIP code, to its watch list of communities where coronavirus cases are growing.

“We have a watch list, 11 ZIP codes,” de Blasio said during a press briefing Monday. “We’re adding one more to the watch list and that is ZIP code 11375 in Forest Hills, Queens because we’ve seen a rise in the positivity level there.”

The 12 ZIP codes on the watch list have seen a rise in COVID-19 positivity rates over the last few days, but the rates haven’t yet reached a cluster-level spread.

Other Queens neighborhoods on the watch list include Rego Park (11374), Auburndale (11365), Fresh Meadows (11366) and Jamaica Estates (11432).

The neighborhoods on the watch list are second to a list of nine ZIP codes the city has identified as cluster areas.

The cluster neighborhoods have had positivity rates of 3 percent or higher for seven days or more and include Kew Gardens (11415), Kew Gardens Hills (11367) and Far Rockaway (11691) and several south Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Mayor de Blasio also warned Monday that Rego Park (11374) is close to being bumped up to the list of COVID-19 clusters — where all schools are set to close tomorrow.

It’s one of two ZIP codes on the watch list that de Blasio said he is most concerned about. The other ZIP code is for Brighton Beach in Brooklyn.

Rego Park has had a positivity rate above 3 percent for five days. The neighborhood will be designated a hotspot if the trend continues for just two more days.

“We hope that pattern breaks literally today, but if those two [zip codes] go past seven consecutive days they would go into this higher level list where we’d want to see greater restrictions,” de Blasio said. “But let’s hope and pray that is not the case.”

Rego Park’s latest 14-day positivity rate was at 3.49 percent, according to city data.

Nine hotspots where schools will close Tuesday. Rego Park is in danger of being added to this list

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