Cases in New York continue to surge and with 20,875 reported by the New York Times, it alone accounts for close to half the COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and remains the epicenter of U.S. cases. New Jersey, home to many people who commute to New York City for work, often via mass transit, is seeing its own jump in cases, with 2,844 reported statewide. New Jersey’s cases and California’s 2,240 cases, have now surpassed Washington State, with 2,101 cases. Earlier this month, Washington was the hot spot for U.S. cases, thanks largely to the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland where the virus swept through their residents and also sickened employees.
We suspect the lower density of people per square mile and the immediate school closings, work-at-home orders, and lockdowns by both public and private entities in and around Seattle helped control the outbreak in Washington while if grew undetected in larger cities like Los Angeles and New York. Kirkland, Washington, may one day be used as an illustration of how early lockdowns save lives.
New York’s Westchester County, home of the famous New Rochelle cluster, now has reported 2,894 cases, more than the entire state of Washington. We can only speculate that at least a portion of this difference is that victims in the nursing facility in Washington are largely confined to their beds and could only infect visitors, employees, fellow residents, and responding EMS and Fire personnel who transported residents to local hospitals. In New Rochelle, early victims went to work via mass transit, attended religious ceremonies and celebrations, and went to school, unknowingly spreading the virus far and wide. The New York Times reports that 113 cases are attributable to the cluster in New Rochelle, but I doubt we will ever know the true number.
Globally, there are more than 392,000 cases, an increase of 40,000 in the past 24 hours. (Note that the U.S. now accounts for approximately 25 percent of global case growth.) Cases in Italy (63,927) and the U.S. appear to be growing the fastest. Spain is approaching 40,000 cases but Germany and France (30,150 and 20,149 cases respectively) have seen reported growth slow. South Korea, which once saw the fastest growth outside of China, has displayed a remarkable control and has just 9,037 cases.
While some of the differences may be attributed for more testing in the U.S. and/or less testing in other countries, we believe that it also demonstrates the effectiveness of social distancing and shutdowns.
Also in the news today:
- The summer Olympics have been postponed.
- Spain is now storing bodies in an ice rink
- More than a dozen states have issued stay-at-home orders while other state and municipalities have some restrictions in place.
- The UK also tells populace to stay home.
- Domestic air travel in the U.S. may shut down.