The Daily Telegraph

Resur­gence in New York dashes hopes it had achieved im­mu­nity

- By Josie En­sor in New York Infectious Diseases · Health Conditions · New York City · United States of America · Bill de Blasio · Andrew Cuomo · Brooklyn · Queens · Queens College · Harvard University · School of Public Health · York City F.C. · New York County, NY · Harvard, IL

NEW York is re­port­ing “con­cern­ing” signs of a coro­n­avirus resur­gence, which would dash hopes that its high rate of im­mu­nity would spare it from a sec­ond wave.

The city, which had been the epi­cen­tre of the US’S Covid-19 out­break be­fore it was hailed as a model of con­tain­ment, was one of the few suc­cess sto­ries in a coun­try strug­gling to get the pan­demic un­der con­trol. How­ever, it is now see­ing the most dra­matic uptick in daily cases since June.

While num­bers in south­ern and western states have been steadily ris­ing, New York’s pos­i­tive test rate had for months been hold­ing at around 1 per cent.

But as one of Amer­ica’s long­est and strictest lock­downs eases, the in­fec­tion rate in New York has soared to an av­er­age of more than 3 per cent and 6 per cent in the “hotspots”. Bill de Bla­sio, the city’s mayor, an­nounced on Sun­day that he in­tended to “rewind” the re­open­ing in nine neigh­bour­hoods that had a test­ing pos­i­tiv­ity rate of more than 3 per cent over the last seven days.

In those neigh­bour­hoods, the city

will cur­tail in­door din­ing and close down schools – both of which only restarted last week – as well all other non-es­sen­tial busi­nesses.

“To­day, un­for­tu­nately, is not a day for cel­e­bra­tion. It will be dif­fi­cult for peo­ple who have done so much to fight back in this cri­sis,” Mr de Bla­sio said. The pro­posal to close schools was ap­proved yes­ter­day by An­drew Cuomo, New York’s gov­er­nor, and will come into ef­fect to­mor­row.

Some of the neigh­bour­hoods in Brook­lyn and Queens that were hit hard­est in March and April are now see­ing some of the high­est rates of in­fec­tion, de­fy­ing some pre­dic­tions.

Prof Wil­liam Han­age, an epi­demi­ol­o­gist at the Har­vard TH Chan School of Pub­lic Health, said last month that pock­ets of Brook­lyn and Queens, which had recorded the world’s high­est rate of an­ti­bod­ies, could have achieved “sub­stan­tial im­mu­nity”. How­ever, he said the ques­tion of what lo­calised im­mu­nity meant for the wider pop­u­la­tion as a whole is “much more fraught”.

New York City has some of the high­est rates of im­mu­nity in the world. City­wide, more than 27 per cent of those tested have pos­i­tive an­ti­body re­sults.

 ??  ?? Bill de Bla­sio said he in­tends to ‘rewind’ the re­open­ing of schools and in­door din­ing in wake of the in­crease in cases
Bill de Bla­sio said he in­tends to ‘rewind’ the re­open­ing of schools and in­door din­ing in wake of the in­crease in cases

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