Virus hot spots in Castle Hill, Morris Park see cases triple
BY ROBBIE SEQUEIRA
As the world rang in a new year,
COVID-19 cases continued to explode
across the nation, with the omicron
variant driving up caseloads in the
Bronx by more than 7,000 heading
into the New Year’s weekend.
Hot spots are becoming prevalent
in the Bronx, as sections like Castle
Hill and Morris Park saw caseloads
averaged 300 or more cases per
100,000 residents this past week.
Entering Monday, the Castle
Hill/Clason Point/Soundview 10473
section — which has 349.9 cases per
100,000 over the past week — was one
of the city’s 10 highest-spreading ZIP
codes, far surpassing the city’s median
total of 242.1 cases per 100,000.
Despite the 79.6% of Bronx residents
receiving at least one shot of
the COVID-19 vaccine, the borough’s
positivity rate has jumped from
1.2% at the end of November to 13.5%
at the start of the new year.
Hospitalizations, however, have
stabilized. In the Bronx, 80% of the
borough’s ICU space is fi lled, with
47 patients hospitalized for COVID,
with further data suggesting that
Bronx ICU’s can absorb the increase
in COVID cases.
With rising case counts and dwindling supplies, people lineup near Fordham Road on Dec. 23 for free at-home COVID tests.
Photo Adrian Childress
One of the fi rst big tests for new
NYC Mayor Eric Adams and his administration
is steering the city
through its current wave of COVID
19 cases due to the omicron
variant. On Monday, Adams, who
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BRONX TIMES R 4 EPORTER, JAN. 7-13, 2022 BTR
offi cially took offi ce on Saturday,
assured parents that NYC schools
are safe, despite a record-breaking
surge in COVID-19 cases.
“COVID is a formidable opponent
and it continues to evolve, and
we must pivot and evolve with it,
but you can’t do it viewing yourself
from within the crisis,” Adams
told anchor George Stephanopoulos
exclusively during a media appearance
on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
“We have to see ourselves past
The omicron variant was estimated
to be 58.6% of the coronavirus
variants circulating in the
United States as of Dec. 25, according
to data from the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
Adams’ predecessor, Bill de Blasio,
announced a plan last week to
reopen schools with extra precautions
including increased surveillance,
COVID-19 testing, and athome
COVID-19 tests sent home
with students who have an infected
Public schools are doubling the
amount of weekly testing, and both
vaccinated and unvaccinated students
will now be tested. Previously,
just 10% of unvaccinated students
The city is also changing its
rules to limit quarantine. Instead
of an entire classroom shifting to
remote learning when one or more
students test positive, all students
in the class will be given rapid athome
Also on Monday, the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration authorized
the use of a third dose of the
Pfi zer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
for children aged between 12
and 15, and narrowed the time for
all booster shots from six months to
5 months after primary doses.
The agency also authorized
a third shot in children aged 5
through 11 years who are immunocompromised.
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