The Coordinator of the White House COVD-19 task force Dr. Deborah Brix has emphasized that closely monitored ‘sentinel surveillance’ of susceptible populations such as the elderly is essential for controlling the spread of the coronavirus.
New York hospitals are still jammed with nearly 18,000 coronavirus patients, fewer than the crushing numbers authorities once feared but still at crisis levels that have barely budged for more than a week. Nearly 4,400 of those patients were on ventilators, the majority of whom, if past trends hold, are unlikely to survive.
The virus has also continued to rage through the metro area. In New Jersey, deaths have more than doubled in a week, to more than 3,500 as of Thursday. In Connecticut, fatalities rose 40% in the last week to over 970 overall. Most of the deaths in both states have been in the greater New York City area.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted the lack of major improvement Thursday as he announced another 606 deaths in the state and said current social isolation rules will stay in place through at least May 15. The number dying was down from a day earlier, but remains alarmingly high
Cuomo has outlined some basic philosophies for how to restart economic activity, but he insists it’s unrealistic to bring the state’s 9 million workers back to the job without mass testing, isolation of infected people and tracing of people who had contact with them.
And the state, he said, is still far off from being able to do any of that effectively.
Restarting New York City also represents an unprecedented logistical challenge, involving countless bars, Broadway shows, shops, restaurants and other businesses.
Many New Yorkers are looking for assurances that returning to public transit, crowded workplaces and packed sidewalks won’t lead to a new surge in deaths.
Header: A man walks by a funeral home and hearse in the heavily Orthodox Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn on April 16, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)