NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Inspections and enforcement efforts continue Saturday after health officials reported COVID-19 spikes in parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
Doctors said they're starting to see an uptick in the number of patients hospitalized in Brooklyn, CBS2's Christina Fan reported.
City officials are focusing in on a list of clusters causing concern:
- Gravesend/Homecrest -- 6.42% infection rate
- Midwood -- 5.05% infection rate
- Kew Gardens -- 4.18% infection rate
- Edgemere/Far Rockaway -- 4.05% infection rate
- Borough Park -- 3.9% infection rate
- Bensonhurst/Mapleton -- 3.45% infection rate
- Gerritsen Beach/Homecrest/Sheepshead Bay -- 3.34% infection rate
- Flatlands/Midwood -- 3.1% infection rate
Most of the reported COVID clusters are in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that are home to Orthodox Jewish communities, some of whom feel unfairly targeted by the city's intervention. But local leaders are echoing safety precautions.
"I urge each of you to be vigilant about mask wearing and social distancing," said Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
On Friday, health officials visited communities with high infection rates to reiterate the importance of wearing masks and social distancing.
"We know that the rates are three times higher, and then when we drive through, walk through the neighborhood, we see people are not adhering. So we know that the transmission is going on," said Dr. Mitch Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals.
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Mobile testing sites are set up in the neighborhoods. Non-public schools will undergo regular inspections.
The city health department said non-public schools that do not comply with "risk reduction" measures can be fined $1,000 and forced to close. They include mandatory social distancing, face coverings, coordinating with the Health Department to identify positive cases and requiring students and staff with symptoms to stay home.
CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea plans on increasing enforcement on masks and social distancing within clusters.
If there isn't enough compliance across the board, city officials said all non-essential businesses in those areas could be ordered to close.
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