The rate of positive coronavirus tests is ticking up in New York, especially in neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish populations, governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday, according to AFP.
In a tweet, Cuomo wrote that of the 52,936 tests reported Sunday, 834 were positive, or 1.5 percent of the total.
The positive rate had previously been at one percent for several days.
New York became the global epicenter of the pandemic in spring, recording 23,800 cases in March alone, but in recent weeks officials have touted the lowest test positivity rate and infection rate among major US cities.
On Saturday, more than 1,000 New Yorkers tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time since June 5 the state has seen a daily number that high.
While Sunday’s 1.5 positive rate is still relatively low, it conceals hot spots deemed "worrying" by health authorities, particularly parts of Brooklyn that have large populations of Orthodox Jews.
In some of these neighborhoods, the infection rate has risen to five or six percent, and has been linked to the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, health officials claimed.
Cuomo on Monday cited Rockland County and Orange County, suburbs with large Orthodox Jewish populations, as areas where the positive rate is increasing.
Authorities have warned that they will inspect non-public schools -- including Jewish religious schools -- in the coming days, and sanction establishments where social distancing and mask rules aren't being implemented.