What to Know
- New York City has recorded just two confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last four days, yet another sign of the progress Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the city — and state — must work hard to maintain
- Slipping compliance at home compounds the growing national threat; New Jersey is seeing a small uptick in new COVID-19 cases. The state’s transimission rate climbed from 0.87 a month ago to 1.48 on Monday
- Nationally, the U.S. death toll has topped 157,000 and diagnosed COVID cases are approaching 5 million, by NBC News estimates; latest virus projections expect up to 7,500 deaths each week for the next 4 weeks
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City would start implementing checkpoints across the five boroughs to help enforce Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s quarantine order for travelers from viral hotspots, citing the ongoing national COVID threat.
The measure announced Wednesday is the first significant effort by New York City specifically to help enforce the 14-day quarantine for travelers from 34 states and Puerto Rico. In revealing it, de Blasio said the state was “absolutely right” to impose the travel restriction in the first place. Cuomo announced it in late June.
“We don’t want to penalize people. We want to educate them, make sure they’re following the rules,” de Blasio said. “If they need support, we want to support them.”
New York City snapped its three-day streak of zero confirmed COVID deaths Wednesday, recording one each in Brooklyn and the Bronx, though it continues to see progress from a devastating stretch in April that cost hundreds of lives a day.
Statewide COVID hospitalizations fell to 564, down from a peak of 20,000 in April, while the daily test positivity rate remains at 1 percent over a seven-day rolling average. The five boroughs have that same low positivity rate, which is one of the lowest in the nation and a far cry from the 59 percent daily rates it saw in April.
Cuomo marked the somber note of progress with a stern reminder: Don’t let up yet.
“Our progress is thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers – even after two and a half months of reopening, the numbers have continued to go down,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “But we learned from this crisis that nobody is safe until everybody is safe, and an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere. Surging infection rates across the country threaten that progress, so we must continue to wear our masks, socially distance and stay New York Tough.”
Daily Percentage of Positive Tests by New York Region
With all of New York state in some phase of reopening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is shifting his focus to monitoring test results on a daily basis across each region to identify potential hotspots before they emerge. Here’s the latest tracking data by region. For the latest county-level results statewide, click here
Though Cuomo says the Empire State defied experts’ expectations infection rates would rise with the reopening, he fears “it’s only a matter of time” before New York faces some sort of viral resurgence. His goal is to minimize the impact when it happens.
Out-of-state travel from viral hotspots has already contributed to new clusters in New York and New Jersey. That threat compounds the one of slipping compliance locally. New York City’s infection rate hasn’t gone up because of the latter yet — and Cuomo is cracking down heavily on the bar and restaurant scene.
The same story of a sustained low infection rate can’t be said for New York’s neighbor across the river, though. New Jersey is seeing its highest transmission rates in six weeks as people continue to attend crowded house parties and flaunt COVID precautions that drove spread down in the first place.
Gov. Phil Murphy had put New Jersey “on notice” late last week and took action Monday, re-lowering the capacity on indoor gatherings from 100 to 25 people. The restrictions remain in effect “until further notice.” Murphy wants to see the rate of transmission reduce to a lower level over a seven-day rolling average.
A month ago, New Jersey’s rate of transmission was 0.87. On Tuesday, it was 1.41, meaning one infected person is infecting nearly one and a half other people. Cuomo would call that an outbreak. As he says, an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere. The New York governor was asked last week about whether he’d consider putting New Jersey on the quarantine list, given its recent uptick.
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