New York City (NYC) has emerged as one of the epicenters of the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. To identify the early transmission events underlying the rapid spread of the virus in the NYC metropolitan area, we sequenced the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in patients seeking care at the Mount Sinai Health System. Phylogenetic analysis of 84 distinct SARS-CoV-2 genomes indicates multiple, independent, but isolated introductions mainly from Europe and other parts of the United States. Moreover, we found evidence for community transmission of SARS-CoV-2 as suggested by clusters of related viruses found in patients living in different neighborhoods of the city.
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