New York State has staunched the spread of the coronavirus better than any other state thanks to its slower reopening and more extensive testing regime. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.
Cuomo introduced new slides to his daily presentation that track how quickly the virus is spread across all 50 states – and shows the virus is spreading most slowly in the Empire State and neighboring New Jersey, both of which implement strict stay-at-home policies to. contain the pandemic’s outbreak.
“States that have reopened too quickly or uncontrolled are now starting to close down,” Cuomo said. “We are the exact opposite. Since the reopened, the number has continued to go down.
“Because we have been disciplined in our reopening and orientation what we have to continue to do,” he added.
Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio are facing pressure from struggling businesses to loosen work, dining and shopping restrictions more quickly, criticism that both men have rejected as potentially dangerous to public health.
According to the slides, if four New Yorkers were to have the virus, they would only on average infect just three new people.
Epidemiologists say the rate of a new infection – sometimes dubbed the “R” number – must remain low to ensure that hospitals are not again overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.
The slides show that New York has an “R” number of .77, while New Jersey has managed to beat the pandemic back to an “R” level of .79.
States like Texas and Arizona that have seen a surge in new cases reported with “R” numbers above 1, meaning the disease’s spread is once again accelerating there.
Cuomo’s presentation also provided other evidence that the pandemic, which claims more than 22,000 people in New York City alone, continues to recede.
The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive continues to track below 2 percent across the entire state – and is at just 1.5 percent in New York City, the center of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, the number of people who died after testing positive for the disease ticked up by just 42 over the last day, which is a fraction of the nearly 900 people who passed away every day at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.