Coronavirus News: Cuomo calls for outreach to hardest hit low-income areas

Targeted testing and outreach will be expanded in low-income New York City neighborhoods that have been hotbeds of the outbreak.
NEW YORK -- The Bronx has been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other place in the New York City metropolitan area.

And within the Bronx, almost no place has been hit as hard as Co-op City.

Data released by city health officials Monday revealed that the virus has killed at least 155 people living in the zip code that covers the complex.



Governor Andrew Cuomo said targeted testing and outreach will be expanded in low-income New York City neighborhoods that have been hotbeds of the outbreak.

Results from roughly 8,000 antibody tests conducted at New York City church sites indicate what previous data have shown: low-income and non-white neighborhoods in the city have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.

"The data shows not just a high positive, not just a high number of people had the positive, but the spread is continuing in those communities and that's where the new cases are coming from," Cuomo said.

For instance, while the positive rate for antibodies citywide is 20%, it was more than twice that in Morrisania in the Bronx at 43%, according to preliminary results cited by Cuomo.

Other specific neighborhoods that have been hammered include Brownsville in Brooklyn at 41% and Hollis, Queens, at 35%. And they are all black and brown neighborhoods home to essential workers.

"We did the research, we know the data, we know what's happening, now what do we do about it. Now we're going to target these communities," Cuomo said.

Cuomo announced 28 new testing sites, for a total of 72, which will include churches and faith-based sites and more sites at public housing developments. Efforts to stop the spread of the disease will include making more protective gear available and more education.

Cuomo said he is directing all local governments to test low-income communities and to develop outreach programs.

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