“In Staten Island, the percent positivity and the case numbers have increased in recent days and weeks,” the city health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, said on Monday. “And that’s because we have unvaccinated individuals, particularly younger people, who remain unvaccinated.”
But the uptick goes far beyond Staten Island. Case counts have climbed significantly in every borough. In Brooklyn, average daily case counts nearly doubled in recent weeks from under 60 to more than 100. On Tuesday, the ZIP code that had the highest average positive test rate in the city, at 4.89, was in Harlem.
The unvaccinated are most vulnerable
Health officials have said the vast majority of those testing positive have not been fully vaccinated.
The Health Department has not yet released statistics on how many new cases are among people who are fully vaccinated. Data from other countries shows that a full regimen of the vaccines in use in New York offers a high degree of protection against the Delta variant.
Still, breakthrough cases are not difficult to find. Stories of them circulate on Twitter, and at clinics and other testing sites.
Tony Smith, a 31-year-old Brooklyn resident who works for a social impact company, thought he was done with Covid this spring, when he got his two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He had already caught the virus during New York’s initial wave, suffering a range of symptoms, including chest pain. For months afterward, his resting heart rate was elevated.
After his second shot of the vaccine, his heart rate dropped and he began to feel normal.
Then on Sunday, he woke up feeling slightly sick. The next day his heart rate felt higher. And he felt the same terrible sensation in his chest as he did when he first had Covid-19. “It’s like the crinkling of aluminum foil in my chest,” Mr. Smith said.