Coronavirus News: COVID positivity climbs on Staten Island, 'day of action' underway

COVID-19 News and Information
ST. GEORGE, Staten Island (WABC) -- On Tuesday, health care workers are at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George, handing out PPE and offering COVID tests as the city tries to stop a second wave.

That's because positivity rates are on the rise, and specifically, in the Tottenville section, it's now over 6.5%.

That's prompted this so-called "Day of Action." Staff and volunteers are fanned out across the island, not only at the Ferry Terminal but also in several shopping centers, again offering PPE, information, and testing.

Mayor Bill de Blasio updated the citywide numbers Tuesday morning, and called Monday's 2.88% positivity rate "very worrisome."

"2.31% rolling average over seven days, there's still time to turn back this second wave if we do the work, it's possible we can turn this back, but this is a warning sign that we have some work to do," the mayor said.

That work could include rolling back indoor dining he said and taking individual precautions.

"It can enter through your body through nose, mouth and eyes," said Dwarika Malick, a commuter. "As long as you protect those three areas, definitely you have to take your own precautions."

In Southern Brooklyn, which also recently saw a rise in cases, those red zones have now turned into orange warning zones after showing improvement.

That means some non-essential businesses can reopen and the city hopes they'll see the same results on Staten Island if people do their part.

City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine also commented on the "second wave."

"Today's publication of local COVID-19 positivity data should serve as a wake -up call to New Yorkers," Levine said in a statement. "With 86 zip codes now averaging 2% or higher over the past week, it's clear that our second wave is here. The window to avoid new shutdowns is closing. To avoid this we need the public to once again rally to flatten our curve. This means working from home if you are able, being judicial in partaking in indoor dining, limiting travel, and avoiding in-person social gatherings, even with family. With the weather getting colder, holidays approaching, and sharp rising in the virus nationally, New York City has entered a challenging new phase in this fight. We need all New Yorkers to redouble their efforts to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe."

RELATED: Cuomo says vaccine distribution will be a slow process
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene updated its data by zip code.

- Seven day average of percent positive by zip code
- Weekly counts of cases and persons tested by zip code

- More refined age breakdowns and trend data

The Mayor also provided guidance for the upcoming holidays.
- Safer holiday activities; get creative and stay smart, stick to core four
- Religious services: go virtual or outside
- Gatherings: know your own and others' risk, keep it small, outdoors is safer
- Travel: stay local, travel safely, get tested and quarantine after travel

Find a testing location near you.

MORE NEWS: New Jersey targets indoor dining, bars, casinos amid rising COVID-19 rates

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