Brooklyn May Now Be Deadliest County in U.S. for COVID-19, Overtaking Queens

Since the early stages of the crisis, Queens had been the hardest-hit section of the hardest-hit city, but it appears that could be shifting

NBC Universal, Inc.

There is no debate that New York City has been the most severely impacted place in the country when it comes to COVID-19.

With over 11,500 confirmed deaths from the virus, according to the state's Department of Health as of Friday (and as many as 16,646 if including the city's probable deaths), that many lives lost in less than eight weeks is almost incomprehensible.

Since the early stages of the crisis, Queens had been the hardest hit section of the hardest hit city, counting more total cases and deaths in that borough than any other. However, it appears that may be shifting.

On Friday, the state said that there had been 46,387 COVID-19 cases in Queens, along with 3,601 deaths. While still having more cases than neighboring Kings County (40,658), Queens had fewer total deaths than Brooklyn — giving it the grim title of deadliest county in the U.S.

In fact, nearly a quarter of all confirmed coronavirus-related deaths in New York have been reported in Brooklyn — meaning nearly one in four deaths in the state have occurred in the borough. The 3,639 deaths represent about 7 percent of the nationwide toll as well, by NBC News estimates.

While New York state's numbers do not account for probable deaths attributed to COVID-19, the city's do. As of Friday, the city had counted 4,344 deaths in Brooklyn, 1,154 of which were listed as having probable ties to the coronavirus. Queens had a total of 4,274 deaths, according to the city's health department, with 970 of those as probable.

However, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center, the virus is still affecting Queens County the hardest of any in the country, with Brooklyn number two. Nine of the top 11 counties for coronavirus deaths are in New York and New Jersey: Queens, Kings, Bronx and Nassau are the four hardest-hit, with Manhattan sixth, followed by Suffolk, Essex, Bergen and Westchester.

Only Detroit's Wayne County (fifth) and Chicago's Cook County (seventh) also made the ominous list.

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