BRONX, N.Y. - The Bronx has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of thousands of residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Some neighborhoods there are especially vulnerable.
For decades, the Bronx has dealt with lower income, health and quality of life issues more than other parts of the city. Those characteristics make it vulnerable to the coronavirus. Still, City Councilman Andy King, says there are other factors involved. He represents 10467, the Bronx zip code with the highest numbers of COVID-19.
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“My neighbors work for the MTA. They drive buses; I have nurses and healthcare workers across the street. This is a working district. These are the people that are going to be on the frontlines,” said Councilman Andy King.
With more than 42,600 residents testing positive for COVID-19, the Bronx has the third highest rate of coronavirus in the city, behind Brooklyn and Queens. About 3,100 cases in the Bronx are in zip code 10467. King also represents 10469, the second hardest hit zip code in the borough. He says the New York on Pause order did not protect essential workers.
“We could’ve just paused everything,” said King.
While King’s district is made up of mostly private homes, the Fordham and Kingsbridge communities mostly have apartment buildings. The local councilman, Fernando Cabrera, says large groups of people living in close quarters is partly to blame for zip code 10468, having the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the borough. Cabrera’s son also contracted the coronavirus. He says he’s disappointed with the lack of testing facilities in his community. He represents a large Latino and immigrant population.
“It’s staggering. It baffles me, the late reaction. Literally, hundreds of people in my district have died because of the late intervention,” said Councilman Cabrera.
A spokeswoman for the mayor told NY1 that the administration is putting equity at the forefront of their plan to defeat the virus.
Community Board 11 member Jereme Werneke started a petition demanding more transparency from the city.
“The more information, the better off we are, ultimately,” said Werneke.
He says it’s important to understand who is getting sick and where they live in order to combat to virus, especially in case of a second wave of the virus.