Brooklyn's Hasidic community worries about virus clustersPosted: Updated:
Brooklyn's Hasidic community has many concerns about possible virus clusters in the city.
Those who live in those areas, mainly Williamsburg and Borough Park, say those numbers wouldn't be so high if there had been better community outreach a few weeks ago.
"We are very connected, you know we go to synagogues together, we pray three times a day. So when it comes to just don't do anything just stay home, it's very hard,” says community activist Ushi Teitelbaum.
This raises questions about large gatherings like weddings or Purim celebrations that might have prompted the spike.
"New York was still open during Purim right, people went to school, people went to restaurants, people did whatever they had to do, so it's a beautiful holiday and people did whenever they needed to,” says Teitelbaum.
Public officials, such as state Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein, are making their appeals on TV and social media.
Community members say they take it seriously but that the gravity of the situation was lost in translation. On Twitter, Mayor Bill de Blasio's press secretary said the city does not believe there is a cluster in these neighborhoods.
News 12 reached out to both city and state Departments of Health to ask about their efforts to inform New Yorkers. In a statement, the city DOH said in part, "Every neighborhood in NYC now has people diagnosed with COVID-19. Providers should only test those who are seriously ill. As our health care system faces unprecedented capacity and supply challenges, we must ensure that those who are severely ill can still receive the critical medical attention that they need.”