As a second COVID-19 wave threatens to once again lock down Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Gothamist obtained an anonymous Yiddish robocall sent to Borough Park and Williamsburg residents, urging them to avoid testing in order to drive down positivity rates. Some Orthodox health providers are withholding test results from public health authorities, despite it being legally required, and leaders of the Bobov Hasidic dynasty advised congregates who were less likely to currently have the virus to get tested to increase negative rates. Yeshivas in Borough Park were also not reporting any virus test results and teachers were told to do the school a “favor” by avoiding tests, Gothamist reported.
Borough Park was one of the least tested neighborhoods among 146 total zip codes and five boroughs, and The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that the area saw a one-day 17percent positivity rate on Monday. “Most of the community had it already, so we’re not so worried,” 32-year-old Borough Park resident Aron Brever told The Daily Beast.