New York ‘At Risk’ Of Coronavirus Outbreak, Analysis Finds

NEW YORK, NY — A little over three months ago, New York was one of just three states that was on track to contain the coronavirus, according to the nonprofit Covid Act Now, which tracks local-level coronavirus data. It was a remarkable turnaround for the state, which quickly became the world’s COVID-19 epicenter in the spring and at one point saw over 800 coronavirus-related deaths a day.

And while the number of New Yorkers dying from the disease each day has dramatically fallen into the single digits, Covid Act Now has since revised its rosy outlook and warned that New York is at risk of an outbreak, much like the majority of the country.

New York’s outlook is now worse than Maine, Washington State, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, Maryland and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The outlook comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week announced drastic new rules for places seeing clusters of cases. In the hardest hit areas, non-essential businesses and schools would close, and houses of worship could have no more than 10 people inside.

The state identified clusters on south shore of Nassau County on Long Island, in Rockland and Orange counties in the Hudson Valley, and in parts of Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.

The state has so-called “Red Zone” focus areas in four counties where the positivity rate over the past three weeks reached 6.4 percent. The rest of the state, meanwhile, held steady at 0.91 percent. Red zone focus areas are home to 2.8 percent of the state’s population but account for nearly a fifth of all positive cases in the state during that three-week period.

New York remains at the second-highest level of risk behind “active or imminent outbreak,” according to Covid Act Now.

New York Coronavirus Overview

  • Daily new cases per 100,000: 7.4

  • Infection rate: 1.19

  • Positive rate: 1.3 percent

  • ICU headroom used: 7 percent

  • Tracers hired: 100 percent

When it comes to the infection rate, Covid Act Now said New York’s active cases are rapidly increasing. In describing the 7.4 daily new cases per 100,000 people, the site said the virus is not contained, but still at a low level.

Though it deemed the state is at risk of an outbreak, the site pointed to positive signs. At 1.3 percent, New York’s positive test rate indicates there’s ample tests being taken. With just 7 percent of ICU headroom used, the state can likely handle a new wave of cases, one of Cuomo’s primary concerns at the beginning of the crisis that led to his request for the USS Comfort hospital ship.

An email seeking comment Friday from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and the state Department of Health wasn’t immediately returned.

Covid Act Now is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to providing local-level disease intelligence and data analysis of the coronavirus in the United States, the group said on its website. Its founders include a former Google data science executive, the former chief technology officer of Dropbox Paper, a member of the Alaska Legislature and the CEO of Pantheon, a WebOps platform used by marketers and developers to make WordPress and Drupal websites.

This article originally appeared on the Long Island Patch

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