New York Has Avoided a Repeat of April, But Covid Is Closing In

New York has one of America’s lowest per-capita rates of Covid-19 hospitalization, but it is surrounded by states doing far worse, a dangerous sign.

New York, where the health-care system was overwhelmed in March and April, has kept hospitalizations to about 209 per million residents in the latest wave. That places it within the least concerning quartile of states, according to Covid Tracking Project data.

But the coronavirus can easily slip through porous borders, and neighboring Pennsylvania now has a rate almost twice as bad. Rhode Island and New Jersey aren’t far behind. Connecticut’s rate is about 334 per million.

New York Has Avoided a Repeat of April, But Covid Is Closing In

In the past two months, the virus has crept into almost every corner of America, finding unscathed populations and returning to the places where the pandemic began. In the Midwest, containment measures couldn’t shield populous states including Illinois and Michigan from infections that began surging around September in the Dakotas and Wisconsin.

The devastation of New York during the first wave has been unmatched during the rest of the pandemic, probably because of early impediments: Limited testing allowed the virus to ambush New York City’s health-care system when there were few tools and a limited body of scientific research to combat the virus.

“The one thing we still see, thank God, is that the hospital admission situation and the intensive-care unit situation is different than one would have expected and better than one would have expected,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday during a WNYC radio interview. “Our hospital situation is holding very well right now. Many fewer people needing ventilators, many fewer people passing away.”

Nationally, the U.S. posted a record 218,268 cases on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The case data was artificially low over Thanksgiving due to limited lab staffing, and has recently been swollen by a catch-up effect. But the more reliable seven-day average also reached a record of 179,398 on Thursday.

The death tally, which has also been affected by the holiday, rose by a record 2,867 to a cumulative 276,235 on Thursday.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • Single-day case records were set Thursday in Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Delaware, Arkansas and Alaska.
  • Hospitalizations with Covid-19 are at records in every region of the U.S. except the Midwest, where they leveled off late last month and show early signs of declining.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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