UWS Has One of the Lowest Covid Antibody Rates in the City

Upper West Siders have suffered and died from Covid-19, but in comparison with other areas of the city the virus did not appear to do as much damage in the neighborhood.

The zip codes in the neighborhood have some of the lowest rates of Covid-19 antibodies of any neighborhood in the city. New data from the city shows that 12.4% of people who live in the 10023 zip code tested positive for antibodies. In 10024, the number was 14.4%. And in 10025, 16.6% of people tested positive. About a quarter of people in each zip code were tested.

Other parts of the city had much higher results, with sections of Queens even registering rates over 50%. Wealthier neighborhoods have generally fared better than poorer ones where people live in closer quarters and were less likely to be able to leave the city at the height of the outbreak.

The graphic below shows the number of tests, portion of the population tested and positive rates.

The tests aren’t perfect, and a limited number of people have taken them. But they give a good basic overview of where the virus hit hardest. There’s evidence that people who have been infected retain some ability to fight the disease off, at least in the near-term.

Should the coronavirus come back stronger in the fall, that could mean the virus would spread faster in the neighborhood, because fewer people would have resistant immune systems. Still, there are all sorts of other factors that could impact any future spread, including how the virus mutates.

NEWS | 39 comments | permalink
    1. Nick10025 says:

      That is because everyone left. Mid/late march it looked like everyone was packing for long vacations or moving out.

      • ben says:

        No it isn’t. It’s a percentage, so normalized against total number of tests, regardless of how many tests were taken, which may be more affected by people leaving.

    2. SutcliffeUWS says:

      One of the lowesr antibody rates=less people has COVID=more diligence in protecting ourselves (not being covidiots). What exactly is the point of this article other than a sensationalist piece?

      • Covid Jones says:

        The UWS is definitely a Covid Karen Kapital of the world, that’s for sure.

        Other than that, it helps to be a bunch of rich white people who have the privilege of working from home. A lot of those “covidiots” were bringing you groceries.

        Keep up the entitlement though! It’s a good look.

        • Eddie10023 says:

          Wow, Covid Jones, I take offense to your statement. I have lived on the UWS for most of my life. We are not the “COVID Karen Kapital” of the world. We are POC! We covered our faces, we self-isolated when asked. When asked to stay home because of a curfew, we complied. Simple.

          • gaytheologian says:

            POC from Crown Heights, Brooklyn here. Essential workers don’t get to isolate, so it’s not all that simple. My neighborhood has a disproportionate number of nurses, MTA workers, delivery people and cab drivers. The mostly white folks who got to work from home did fine. The rest of us got sick and too many of us died because Brooklyn hospitals had a 23 to 1 ratio of patients to nurses (versus a 4 to 1 ratio in Manhattan) and resorted to using duct tape and shower curtains to isolate Covid patients. The suggestion that our infection rate was the result of us simply not following instructions or making poor choices is appalling and inhumane. Have a little respect for your fellow New Yorkers, and pray that all these nurses living in the boroughs survive long enough to care for you when the 2nd wave hits.

        • jhminnyc says:

          I’m not an entitled, wealthy person with a 2nd home outside the city. I was here through it all but listened to the science. For a while I shopped once a week at Fairway at 5 am and stayed in my apartment alone the rest of the time. Although a man, I didn’t worry about looking macho and wore a mask whenever I left my apartment. I wasn’t reckless and still don’t sit in outdoor restaurants jabbering away without a mask with just a planter between the virus and myself. The mask isn’t worn under my chin or with my nose out above it. I take responsibility for myself and try to protect my neighbors and am not arrogant or delusional as to what’s going on around me. Maybe that’s why, so far, I’m safe. I wish I could say the same about the construction men I see working on renovating brownstones on my block. No masks on and laughing and yelling at one another. God knows what they are carrying home to their wives and children.

          • Deborah says:

            Everything you say rings so true. Continue to stay well!!!!

          • Jayvee says:

            Right on. You sound like the male equivalent of me!

          • Shef says:

            Omg you are so right? They should be wearing the N95 CONSTRUCTION MASKS which are all back in stock, right?

            The fact that you try to insult people working for you/others like you is disgusting.

            • Sammy says:

              Right? I live in UWS and yes everyone wears masks etc which I’m proud of. But, a lot of this is because of the type of jobs those in the highly affected neighborhoods have. My office (like many) closed Friday the 13th. I had the luxury of working from home. Only had to go out to get food and even had groceries delivered a lot. Know who was delivering groceries? A lot of minorities. I always felt guilty. They did not have the luxury of staying home. Most people in these neighborhoods with high cases are filled with essential workers. Also, they live in over crowded homes etc…in poorer conditions. Acting like UWS faired so well because we followed the rules and are better than others is absurd. These neighborhoods did not have the same luxuries. Again I’m very proud our area has faired well & the mask compliance is very high. That being said there are a lot of factors why poorer neighborhoods have higher rates.

            • Eric says:

              How about just “a” mask. Free in subway stations. Wake up. 8 months in, so ignorance is no excuse.

        • CovidJudge says:

          What SutcliffeUWS means is conspiracy theories like ‘it’s a hoax’ and ‘Easter miracle cures’ caused the idiotic behavior which then spread this disease. Not income differences.

          • Boris says:

            Nice try to get in a dig at Trump. But it’s highly unlikely that the construction workers referred to or the supermarket stockers are Trump supporters who defy the mask guidelines. There is a general level of ignorance that exists which has nothing to do with Trump.

        • Dave K. says:

          Rich white privilege? what kind of kooky weird comment is this. Good or bad the UWS is a very liberal, hard working universe of families….take your blinders and ridiculous attitude some where else..pathetic..odd comment…makes me wonder..but won’t stop me from working in a shelter every Wednesday..jerk

        • Nevada Rancher says:

          will never understand those that cant have perspective of someone other than themselves.

          the large majority of us here in the UWS are privilaged to work from home, my office (both old and new, got a new job during WFH) were happy to provide adequate infrastructure, and my wife and i have (just) enough space to work in comfort. As Covid Jones said, the folks bringing your groceries did not have that luxury, and were being worked extra hard as we continued to isolate and order in, tipping well. This was before PPE was generally available everywhere, and folks were wearing janky/no PPE as they took the train from their outer borough, where as much as 30%+ of the population may have been infected, during march and april.

          inequality affects us in many many ways, both seen and unseen.

          • Exhausted HCW says:

            UWS here. Double healthcare worker family. Both POC. Did not have the privilege of WFH. Newborn at home. Please don’t make assumptions about the people who live here as all white and WFH. It’s simply not reality.

            PS: we don’t have a second home either.

    3. Martha D Winn says:

      COVID infection rate percentage has less to do with NYC Zip codes than with the attitude of the medical personnel who took care of the patients!

    4. Adam says:

      Double edge sword not to have antibodies: means person does not have any of the immunity that the antibodies are now seeming to provide. Best to have contracted the virus, had no or little illness, and then gain the immunity. The low antibody rate means the population is more susceptible to an outbreak resurgence. Bottom Line: maintain your guard up in these areas.

    5. Marilyn says:

      Do these numbers account for the fact that about half the population of the UWS zip codes fled the city in March and even more left this summer, especially in August?

      • Uws teacher says:

        Yes Marilyn—the numbers do reflect that- because they are looking at the percent of people who tested positive against the people who got a test. And despite the theory that “everybody left” the UWS still had more people getting tested than other places. So despite the theory that everyone was gone- they still got antibody tests at a higher rate.

        Two facts are obvious when looking at this data. Affluent neighborhoods had less cases of Covid-19. Also affluent people were tested at higher rates.

    6. Alan Oppenheim says:

      I think that these numbers should be taken with a large grain of salt. Not only are the tests not perfect, but nobody has said anything about how the data was collected. As a retired statistician, I am somewhat skeptical. When numbers like these appear, I always like to consider the source. Let’s not go too crazy about speculating what the implications of these numbers may be implying. Personally, I had an almost totally asymptomatic case and have tested positive for antibodies. I have donated plasma, but at a facility outside out zip code. Was that counted? Was anything close to a random sample used? How are people selected for estimation of the percentage with antibodies? Like lots of things about this devastating virus, there’s a lot more that we don’t know than we do know.

    7. Steven says:

      Will be interesting to see if that remains the case soon with all the people living in the UWS hotels walking around the neighborhood with no mask as well as so many homeless up here now, doing the same.

      • UWS78 says:

        Outdoor transmission is essentially impossible. China traced 1245 early cases and found TWO total that were contracted outdoors, both from the same person. They were talking in close proximity for hours.


        To be infected you need both viral load and sustained exposure. Walking by somebody outdoors, even if they were spewing covid, will not get you infected. Somebody running by you maskless in the park will not get you infected. Eating outdoors at restaurants will not get you infected.

        You’ll notice that zip 10009, where easily under 50% of people wear masks walking around outdoors, has a lower antibody rate than 10025. Wearing masks indoors over nose and mouth is 100% warranted and significantly curbs covid spread. Wearing masks outdoors is pure safety theater with almost no real impact.

    8. jane magenheim says:

      Of course the antibody rate statistics depend on how many people have been tested.

      • Boris says:

        No it doesn’t. The rate is a percentage.

      • EdNY says:

        They don’t. Simple mathematics. The percentage is number with antibodies divided by total number tested. Doesn’t matter if you test 1000 or 10000 – both numerator and denominator are from the same test group. Of course, the more tested, the more the result approximates the entire populatiopn.

    9. Joanne says:

      Interesting because during the surge I heard ambulances passing my building. non stop. If it was like that in my 10023 neighborhood, I can’t even imagine what it was like in those high infection rate neighborhoods.

      • Tara Black says:

        Yes, during those few weeks in April I heard an ambulance go by my 10025 apartment what seemed like every 15 minutes. All I heard was silence and sirens for weeks.

    10. 10023 says:

      We didn’t flee the city. Three cases of COVID19 in the family and several friends were told to stay home and were never tested. Doctor immediately said to just quarantine for at least 29 days. Hospitals sent people home without testing.
      Curious about the collection of data.

    11. Irena says:

      I’ve lived on the UWS for some 40+ years. I am anything but rich and have always struggled even when working full time and doing more than one job. (And I have an advanced degree and professional job experience.)

      As an older person with health conditions, I have sheltered in place since this all started. I have not even left my apartment to go elsewhere in my building.

      I have a home health aide who came down with the virus and was out for almost six weeks. Luckily, she survived and is OK (she is the single mom of two children). And she did not pass it along to me.

      She is out there daily on the subway and busses as she MUST work. And I am lucky she does. Those weeks when she was out were terrible especially as it was almost impossible to get needed items to be both available and available for delivery. At that time, no one was delivering food from restaurants.

      Are there people here living with lots of money? Yes. But not as many as you think. And not all were fleeing to a second home.

      It’s been a hardship of epic proportions for the average folks who live here on the UWS (and of course elsewhere in NYC and the country). Only those who have no financial worries during all of this and the insurance to ensure they get top care are living a different life now.

      The UWS is not all privilege and rich, spoiled, entitled folks. Plenty of helpful, considerate, follow the rules to protect others. Any location will always have those who do not comply and put others at risk.

      I went outside for the first time on Thursday and saw NO one without a mask. I was in Riverside Park and the surrounding area. Lots of real people out with their dogs, their kids. STILL here.

      Labeling people in any area with one label is just inaccurate. And hurtful.

    12. Nydia Leaf says:

      We are fortunate to have such low rates. Is it possible that being situated between two large parks – Riverside and Central Park – that we owe our good fortune to trees and grass and open skies?

      • SNY says:

        Replying to Nydia Leaf:
        Yes, I absolutely agree that the UWS being sandwiched between 2 wonderful urban parks – Central Park and Riverside Park – allows us to escape into less congested and stress reducing environments. Getting immersed in Nature helps keep up mentally and physically healthy!
        A GREAT STROLL in Central Park: Cross the Bow Bridge (mid-Park near W. 72 St) and continue straight along the Lake. (Lake will be on your left) After about A 4 minutes walk beyond Bow Bridge, you’ll arrive at the “Gill” Cascade! Climb up stone stairs at this waterfall and follow the path of the stream to Azalia Pond…the fabulous hidden secret gem inside the Ramble woodland.
        Connect with the sound of birds and natural beauty in this exquisite naturalistic setting.
        A great Covid-Free environment that will soothe your soul – and heal your spirit.

        • SNY says:

          PLEASE NOTE: (continued from my previous posting)
          If you can’t climb the stone stairs at the Gill Cascade, there is an easy climbing stairway with handrails, just before you arrived at the waterfall, on same pedestrian path!
          Above those stairs is a small, quant Rustic Bridge. Cross the Rustic Bridge…and follow the stream for another 4-5 minutes to AZALEA POND. Sit on a nearby bench – then listen to the birds. And just let go of the stressful city chaos. You will feel great.
          And you won’t believe you’re in Manhattan!

    13. David says:

      City’s decision to place groups of new residents into our neighborhood.
      Many residents feel that we should accept them, befriend them, give them money, food, and clothing. I think that this is commendable.
      According the WestSide Rag the UWS has the lowest incidents of the corn 19 in the City, and it’s noted that the reason for that is because we follow the rules. Wearing a mask is an integral part of that. What should we expect from our new neighbors so that we can keep our record?

    14. Chase says:

      came for the story. stayed for the comments.

    15. David Obelkevich says:

      For seven months I’ve been going to a wonderful massage place, Renewing Spa II, on Amsterdam and 93 street. As a marathoner, I highly recommend them, and they are proactive with corona virus protection.