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Coronavirus’s Impact in New York State – The Curve Flattens

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Although Coronavirus cases continue to increase in New York State, the rate at which they are increasing is slowing, most likely because the State and Federal actions requiring social isolation have slowed the transmission of the disease.  The decrease in the rate of increase is evident in both downstate and upstate metropolitan areas.  But, the slowing has not stopped the epidemic, and demonstrates the need to continue the restrictions until the number of new cases drops to near zero.

The number of new infections statewide continues to be high – 9,378 new cases were reported by Governor Cuomo on April 7th.  New cases  were identified throughout the state.  More than 5,000 of the cases reported were outside New York City.

Number of New Cases

The table above shows infection totals, deaths and new cases as of April 7th.  Every metropolitan area in the state continues to have new cases.  New York City  continues to have by far the largest number of new (4,695)  and total cases (76,876) as of April 7th.  In upstate New York, Buffalo-Niagara Falls has the most total cases (1,378) and new cases (85).    All data is from the New York Times Covid-19 database.

The number of cases in New York City has continued to increase steadily.  Between March 31st and April 7th, the number of cases increased by 33,737 – 44% in one week.

In upstate New York, cases have continued to increase, though the slope of the curve has decreased in the past week in most metropolitan areas, showing that the number of cases is growing less rapidly than it was. In the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica-Rome MSA’s there were almost 1,900 reported cases in the week ending April 7th.

Increase in Number of Cases

Very recent evidence shows that in some metropolitan areas the number of new cases may have plateaued.  Data from New York City shows that the number of new cases has been steady for the past ten days.

Upstate metropolitan areas are also showing a leveling of the number of new cases:

The number of new cases each day in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA has been essentially stable since March 20th.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls’s pattern has been more erratic, but again shows stabilization in the number of new cases.

New Cases in the Rochester MSA have been relatively stable since March 28th, with a possible peak in the past week.

The data from Syracuse shows some unexplained peaks and valleys that appear to indicate reporting issues.  However, overall, new cases have stabilized since late March

Like Syracuse, Utica-Rome has relatively few cases, and the New York Times database shows some likely reporting issues.

Implications

The number of cases of Covid-19 continues to increase in every metropolitan area.  Again, the number of cases in the New York metropolitan area far exceeds the number of cases in upstate New York.

The rate of increase in cases has flattened because New Yorkers have obeyed the State’s stay at home order and the recommendations of Federal professionals that they practice social distancing.  Because new cases continue to appear everywhere, residents should continue to isolate themselves from others, and should expect to see stringent controls on interactions until the number of new cases drops to a very low level.

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