What you should know
- To date, more than 26,000 lives have been lost in the tri-state area; daily hospitalizations also fell below 1,000 for the first time this month
- The United States exceeded one million confirmed cases; New York represents almost a third of those. Nationwide, almost 60,000 have died
- Governor Andrew Cuomo says parts of New York may be ready to reopen when his “PAUSE” directive expires on May 15; NJ Governor Phil Murphy says his closing order will continue indefinitely throughout the state
NEW YORK – New COVID-19 hospitalizations in New York State averaged less than 1,000 a day for the first time this month Tuesday and stayed that way on Wednesday, the latest sign of a slow decrease in pressure on the hospital system. medical attention. In the city, emergency rooms are less crowded.
A week ago, New York City hospitals admitted more than 200 virus patients a day. Today, that number could be below 100. The death rate, which lags behind other indicators such as hospitalizations, has finally begun to drop the worrying curve.
But it’s all relative: A virus that science was unaware of six months ago is still killing someone every 2 minutes in the tri-state region. Cuomo reported another 330 deaths Wednesday, even as the tests peaked at more than 30,000 a day.
But Cuomo, clearly agitated, said on Wednesday that more needed to be done, and once again called on Congress, particularly Senator Mitch McConnell, for not helping the states.
At this time, each day the daily figure seems to decrease. Two weeks ago, there was a period of days in which he did the opposite: he climbed closer to 800 each day. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams had warned that this would be the “saddest week” of the pandemic for the United States. He was correct. We are on the downward slope now.
The victims of this pandemic could fill arenas, concert halls, sports stadiums. The official New York State death toll (not including the city’s separate list of 5,395 “probable” cases) has exceeded 18,000. That is almost the capacity of the Barclays Center. New Jersey has lost 6,770 people, while Connecticut reports 2,089 deaths.
In his daily briefing on Wednesday, Murphy noted that more Garden State residents had died from COVID-19 than those lost during World War I, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Gulf Wars, the Afghanistan war. , the attacks of September 11 and the devastating storm Sandy – combined.
New Jersey reported 329 new deaths on Tuesday, after reporting its highest number in a single day (402) on Monday.
“Thinking that we have added a number that is more than all of those combined takes your breath away,” he said.
Despite the staggering death toll on Tuesday, Murphy announced on Twitter that he would reopen all state parks on May 2. County-level golf courses and parks will also have the option to reopen that day. But restrooms and clubhouses will remain closed, and team sports will still be banned.
Murphy noted that the decision to reopen the parks was not based on public pressure, but on public health data. He said it was those same data that led him to close the parks in the first place.
Hospital workers who have been fighting in the first line of defense for months say the chaos has subsided, but they still report feeling overwhelmed by illness and death. They still find themselves serving as surrogates for families, the last to hold the hand of a loved one. They are still getting sick. They still leave 12-hour shifts in tears. For many, the worst fear is possibly having to go through everything again.
We can’t let that happen, says Cuomo. “We’ve been through hell and come back … and we have to respect what we’ve accomplished here.”
“We have been through hell and have returned in the last 60 days.
While the New Jersey governor has extended his closing order indefinitely across the state, Cuomo says he will likely allow his “PAUSE” order to expire after May 15 in some parts of the state. The northern region of the state has seen a much slower infection rate than New York City, which is expected to extend the state shutdown directive alongside places like Long Island and Westchester.
Cuomo outlined additional guidelines Tuesday for his New York state implementation plan, one he says every region, from New York City to the Finger Lakes, must follow as they seek to reopen.
Cuomo has said that a robust testing regimen and tracking system are key to reopening, and regions must incorporate them into their reopening structure. The governor says he wants at least 30,000 trackers for every 100,000 people, and the regions must continue to monitor their infection rates.
Check out Cuomo’s detailed plan below:
They must also come up with plans to make rooms available to people who cannot isolate themselves (New York City has made more than 1,000 hotel rooms available). Then comes the reopening of schools, transit, testing, and tracing with the surrounding regions, which Cuomo says the regions must coordinate with the surrounding regions.
Reinvention (the workplace, telemedicine, teleeducation) is a major component of the process. Cuomo says New York will reopen differently, but can be better rebuilt, turning all the painful lessons from the pandemic into a future fortress.
Each region should designate a supervisory institution as its “control room” to monitor key metrics, including hospital capacity, infection rate, PPE use rate and companies, the governor said. If any indicators become troublesome, officials can push a kind of emergency switch to manage the problem before it metastasizes.
All regions must continue to ensure that protections exist for essential workers, says Cuomo. He described the situation of homeless people on the New York City subway as an “unpleasant” situation to their commitment to go to work every day. He said Wednesday that the MTA would come up with a plan to clean vehicles more frequently.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city offered a plan to close the key 10 hours of the station overnight, which would disrupt service, but allow people to more effectively reach homeless people on trains. He said the city will pay for it and “we could get going right away,” but his administration is waiting for MTA approval.
“What we are seeing here is a real problem, but it is not because something has fundamentally changed in the last decades,” added de Blasio. “It is because there are very few people who travel on the subway, there is much less service, so homeless people who have been traveling on the subway stand out more. It is also a call to action to help them more.”
De Blasio unveiled new plans Wednesday to do that. He said the city would move 1,000 people from shelters to commercial hotels this week, with the goal of moving 1,000 more each week. The health department will also launch tests this week in shelters in big cities, expanding access to the entire system in mid-May. Anyone who tests positive will be safely isolated, the mayor said.
The problem of uncertainty: painful reality, deep fear of the unknown
More than a million people in the United States have been diagnosed with coronavirus. They are much more likely to have had it and recovered without even knowing they were sick in the first place. In New York City, up to 2.1 million may have been infected, according to data released this week, 13 times the more than 164,000 cases reported.
Uncertainty: who is infected? How do I pay my bills? When will this end? – are the questions that have sparked a new kind of fear in the minds of many Americans, one that makes them question the same routines that they comfortably followed for years.
Think of it as “combat stress,” a phrase traditionally used to describe war trauma, De Blasio said Wednesday. “I never thought we would have to use this word in the midst of New York City civil life, but in fact, it is the right word and we need the help of our military to make sense of this situation.”
Many states, including New York and New Jersey, have established mental health hotlines in the midst of the crisis. They urge anyone who has a hard time calling without hesitation. Learn more about hotlines and find more ways to get help here.
To complement the comprehensive efforts that already exist, New York City’s Chirlane McCray said Wednesday that the Defense Department would be involved, training 1,000 mental health employees to “help first responders heal.”
Those 1,000 specialists will provide a “whole new level” of mental health care for first responders, who, like war soldiers, will undoubtedly face ongoing trauma long after the last COVID-19 patient leaves their hospitals, he said. McCray. The program is expected to be operational sometime in May.
As New York and the nation move to look beyond this crisis, one question continues to haunt many government leaders. Did it have to get so bad?
In an interview with Axios, Cuomo admitted that he wished “for someone to stand up and raise their voices” earlier regarding the severity of the virus threat and did not speak from China in December or January. “I would feel much better if they had alerted us in December and last January,” said the governor. “I would feel better sitting here today saying,” I alerted about Wuhan province in January. I can not say that “.
Cuomo also confessed that even in March he was sure of New York’s chances of beating the virus, partly because of “arrogance” that the state had the best medical care in the world, leading him to believe that the situation was not. be “as bad as it was in other countries”.
There is much about the virus that no one knows or fully understands, not even the best health experts and scientists in the world. They don’t know how long the antibodies can provide immunity or even if they do it safely. They don’t know if the virus is seasonal; there is evidence that it is and may not be. If COVID-19 returns in the fall, the White House says it will be ready.
New symptoms continue to emerge. The CDC recently added chills, muscle pain, and a sore throat to its growing list of possible symptoms. A previous update added a sudden loss of smell. Patients have described memory loss.
This virus never existed before it emerged in China’s Wuhan province last year. It is a daunting task for states to try to control their outbreaks as scientists and health experts try to build their research base and set guidelines in real time.
The rapid spread of the infection has given them no other choice; they know that the spread is much greater than the number of confirmed positives. The tri-state area alone has more than 450,000 of them: 299,691 in New York, 116,264 in New Jersey, 26,312 in Connecticut. Early antibody test results indicate that more than 2 million may have been infected in New York City alone at some point; many of those patients likely had mild or no symptoms and may not have sought evidence at all.
New York City will offer free antibody tests, courtesy of the federal government, to more than 150,000 health workers and first aid personnel starting next week. The tests will be available in hospitals, police precincts, fire stations, and other central locations. It’s an imperfect test, but it does indicate whether someone may have had the virus and recovered, and de Blasio hopes it will help first responders who test positive for the antibody feel more secure on the job.
Except for an effective vaccine or treatment for the virus, Harvard researchers say social distancing may be necessary in 2022. More than 70 vaccines are being developed worldwide, but approval could take 12-18 months if not plus. Japan’s top doctor said Tuesday that the already postponed Olympics may be impossible to hold next year unless an effective vaccine is available.
Clinical trials for experimental drugs have not spurred much optimism so far, although some appear more effective than others in the initial study. Northwell Health in New York says it has found some promising initial results in a trial that uses a common, inexpensive heartburn medication as a treatment along with other experimental medications. The final results would still take about a month.
Doctors may use multiple treatments on a single virus patient, or perhaps one helps one person and something different helps another. Bill Gates wrote in a recent essay that effective treatment has to reduce the death rate by 95 percent. We’re not there yet, he said, not even close.