Virus Toll in N.Y. Shows Signs of Leveling Off: Live Updates – The New York Times

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Virus Toll in N.Y. Shows Signs of Leveling Off: Live Updates – The New York Times

Data from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut suggested that steps to control the coronavirus’s spread might be working.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that the federal government would allow the U.S.N.S. Comfort to begin admitting coronavirus patients.

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Credit…Ryan Christopher Jones for The New York Times

Deaths were relatively flat across the region.

For days, officials in and around New York sought indications that the coronavirus was nearing a peak in the region — the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic — and might start leveling off.

And for days, the death toll climbed faster and faster. In New York State, for instance, it rose by more than 200, then more than 400, then 630 people in a single day.

But on Monday, for the second day in a row, officials found reasons for hope even as hundreds of people continued to die and thousands clung to life on ventilators.

On both Sunday and Monday, fewer than 600 deaths from the virus were reported in New York: 594 on Sunday, 599 on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.

In New Jersey, Gov. Philip D. Murphy reported a similar trend: 71 reported deaths on Monday, and 86 on Sunday, after a three-day streak when deaths had broken triple digits.

And in Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday reported a one-day death toll of 17, the smallest number since last Wednesday.

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Coronavirus Stats Suggest a ‘Possible Flattening of the Curve,’ Cuomo Says

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that despite some encouraging signs, residents should continue to practice social distancing.

Total number of hospitalizations are down, the I.C.U. admissions are down and the daily intubations are down. Those are all good signs, and again, would suggest a possible flattening of the curve. The number of discharged is down. But that reflects the overall reduction in the numbers. Big question that we’re looking at now is: What is the curve? If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level, and there’s tremendous stress on the health care system. And to say that this health care system — which is at maximum capacity today right — this is a hospital system where we have our foot to the floor, and the engine is at red line. And you can’t go any faster. And by the way, you can’t stay at red line for any period of time because the system will blow, and that’s where we are. We are at red line. Control what you can, do what you can. The challenge is to make sure that we don’t lose anyone who could have been saved if our health care system was operating fully.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that despite some encouraging signs, residents should continue to practice social distancing.CreditCredit…John Minchillo/Associated Press

Mr. Cuomo said the data suggested that the spread of the virus in New York was nearing its apex, but he emphasized that the state remained in a dire, unsustainable state of emergency.

“If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level and there is tremendous stress on the health care system,” he said.

Here were the latest numbers from the day:

  • Deaths in New York State: 4,758, up 599 from 4,159 on Sunday morning.

  • Confirmed cases: 130,689, up from 122,031 in New York. In New York City, 72,181, up from 67,551.

  • Hospitalized in New York State: 16,837, up 2 percent from 16,479 on Sunday. It was the third straight day of single-digit percentage growth, after a long period when hospitalizations were growing 20 to 30 percent a day.

  • In intensive care: 4,504, up 2 percent from 4,376 on Sunday. The day-over-day increase, 128, was the smallest in at least two weeks. Last week, the number of people in intensive care beds, which have ventilators, was growing by more than 300 people a day.

Even if the infection curve is flattening, the virus’s daily toll remains horrific.

New York City reported a one-day total of 219 deaths on Monday morning, bringing the city’s death toll to 2,475. Before the virus outbreak, the average death rate in New York City was 158 people a day, meaning the virus is now killing considerably more people in the city than all other causes combined.

Mr. Cuomo asserted that New York had done all it could to prevent the loss of lives that could have been saved.

“Have we saved everyone?” he said. “No. But have we lost anyone because we didn’t have a bed or we didn’t have a ventilator, or we didn’t have health care staff? No.”

In a notable shift from previous weeks, when he pleaded for more ventilators from the federal government and other states, he said New York was now adequately stocked.

“We don’t need any additional ventilators right now,” he said.

Later in the day, Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on MSNBC that President Trump had approved his request for the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that arrived in New York last week, to begin treating virus patients.

No Regents tests, or spring break, for N.Y.C. public school students.

State officials said on Monday that its June Regents examinations for high school students would be canceled. Many high school students in New York State take the exams, which help determine graduation eligibility, in June.

It was not clear whether the August Regents, which give students a second chance to qualify for a state diploma, would also be canceled. The Board of Regents, led by chancellor Betty Rosa, is expected to announce more details about the August exams and how the changes will affect graduation requirements on Tuesday.

The state had already canceled standardized exams planned for the spring for students in grades three through eight.

New York City schools had been scheduled to be closed starting Thursday through the end of next week for Passover, Good Friday, and spring break. Students are now expected to continue their remote learning during that time.

The state has said that remote instruction must continue, regardless of whether districts like New York City had spring break scheduled. And on Monday, Mr. Cuomo directed schools and nonessential businesses to stay closed at least through April 29.

The teachers union sent out an email on Friday berating the city for making teachers work on major religious holidays. The city’s education department and the union subsequently struck a deal that gives teachers four extra days off that can be used for religious holidays.

Deaths in New Jersey pass 1,000.

Mr. Murphy said on Monday that there had been 3,663 new confirmed virus cases in New Jersey since the day before, bringing the state’s total to 41,090. He also noted the 86 new deaths, which brought New Jersey’s total to 1,003.

Mr. Murphy arrived at the news conference where he delivered the numbers wearing a face mask, which he removed before speaking.

“Our protocol has been that when we’re in any setting with more than a modest amount of folks, we’re going to wear our masks, including for press conferences, both coming in and leaving,” he said.

The governor shared data showing that while the number of positive case results continued to rise, there had been a decline in the growth rate over the past week, from 24 percent day-over-day on March 30 to about 12 percent as of Monday.

“This means that our efforts to flatten the curve are starting — and I say starting — to pay off, even with the lag time in getting testing result back from the labs,” Mr. Murphy said.

Nurses at Harlem Hospital protested for better gear.

“P-P-E.”

“Every day.”

“And every day.”

“P-P-E.”

That was the call-and-response outside Harlem Hospital Center on Monday, as dozens of nurses protested for more personal protective equipment.

On the sidewalk out the hospital, the names of health care workers who died after treating coronavirus patients were written in brightly colored chalk.

The Manhattan hospital has been inundated with virus patients, including some who were transferred from hospitals in Queens and the Bronx.

But the hospital staff has been stretched thin and critical workers have been provided with little protective equipment, nurses said. The hospital has only a small number of respiratory therapists, and staff members get one N95 mask to wear for five 12-hour shifts, said Sarah Dowd, a staff nurse who helped organize the protest.

“We deserve better,” she said, reciting a list of demands that includes at least one mask a day for hospital workers, and more nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists.

The Harlem nurses were joined by counterparts from other public and private hospitals in the city. The protesters held signs that read, “Patients before Profits” and “Who Will Care for You When We Are Dead?”

Foluke Fashakin, a nurse who was at Harlem Hospital, said that nurses were wearing the same equipment to treat those who were infected and those who were not.

“We are not comfortable with this kind of system,” she said.

As virus spreads, crime plunges across New York.

Crime has plummeted in New York City and across the state since the governor announced a stay-at-home order more than three weeks ago, data released on Monday shows.

In New York City, the number of felony and misdemeanor cases dropped a collective 43.3 percent from March 18 to March 24, compared with the same period in 2019, according to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

All other regions in the state experienced an even greater decline over the same period: a drop of nearly 69 percent in misdemeanors and felonies.

The number of felonies specifically dipped 33 percent in New York City and 60 percent in the rest of the state.

Reporting was contributed by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Joseph Goldstein, Matthew Haag, Elizabeth A. Harris, Andy Newman, Eliza Shapiro, Liam Stack, Matt Stevens, and Katie Van Syckle.

  • Updated April 4, 2020

    • Should I wear a mask?

      The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms. Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don’t need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing. Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. Masks don’t replace hand washing and social distancing.

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

    • How does coronavirus spread?

      It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

    • What makes this outbreak so different?

      Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

    • What if somebody in my family gets sick?

      If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

    • Should I stock up on groceries?

      Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

    • Should I pull my money from the markets?

      That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.


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