While coronavirus has taken its toll on the globe over the past few weeks, the virus seems to be plateauing in some of the hardest-hit cities in the U.S.
New York City announced a record death toll and hospitals are struggling to save thousands of lives, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations seemed to be leveling off in New York State, Reuters reports.
New York was one of several states across the U.S. to report highest daily loss of life due to the virus, adding up to a staggering 731 fatalities in just one day. The state has accounted for more than a third of the U.S. confirmed coronavirus cases to date. Across the state, the death toll has reached over 5,000, however, Cuomo mentioned that the rising number of deaths is the “lagging indicator” following the onset of infections.
Cuomo pointed to the slowing rates of coronavirus hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and ventilator intubations, which means that the social distancing protocols seem to be working. That number should reach a plateau if society actually continues to follow through with those protocols, the Governor said.
The tri-state area has been specifically hit hard by the virus, with both New Jersey and Connecticut reporting their respective states’ highest one-day total. Nonetheless, all three governors said that there were signs that the virus’s spread was slowing.
“Let’s not get complacent,” Cuomo said in a news conference. “Social distancing is working… That’s why you see those numbers coming down.”
Additionally, other hotspot states – Illinois and Louisiana – are pointing to data that suggests the virus may be reaching a plateau. California Governor Gavin Newsom also pointed to the infection curve in his state. He noted that his stay-at-home order – which was one of the first in the country to be implemented – shows “the curve continues to rise, but now it is slower.”
Currently, stay-at-home orders have been put in place by governors of 42 states. If people continue to follow social distancing guidelines, these numbers will continue to decrease over time. New research from the University of Washington shows that the U.S. coronavirus deaths will total fewer than 82,000 by August 4. While this number is still not to be taken lightly, it’s considerably less than the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally suggested – between 100,000 and 240,000.
President Trump announced last week that the government was extending its social distancing guidelines to April 30.