Potential COVID-19 Plateau Seen in NY and NJ

Carolyn Crist

April 08, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

State officials have noted a potential leveling-off of COVID-19 cases in hotspots New York and New Jersey, though the number of deaths continues to grow.

New York had 731 deaths from the coronavirus on Monday, which was the largest one-day increase so far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily briefing on Tuesday. The state's total number of deaths is almost 5,500.

"Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother, so a lot of pain again today," he said.

The previous 2 days, the numbers seemed to level off with 594 and 599 deaths per day, so the 3-day average is moving down, according to the New York Times . The April 6 hospitalization rate was also higher than the previous 2 days, but the 3-day rate is down, Cuomo added.

"We talk about the apex … and right now we're projecting we're reaching a plateau," he said during the briefing. "It still depends on what we do, and what we do will affect those numbers."

New York is still the most heavily affected state, he said, and New Jersey is behind the curve on New York, with more than 41,000 confirmed cases and 1,000 deaths as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said that the number of cases, as well as the growth rate, was beginning to fall, according to Politico.

"Our efforts to flatten the curve are starting — I say starting — to pay off even with the lag time in getting test results back from the lab," he said during his daily briefing.

Infections and hospitalizations are expected to peak in New Jersey between mid-April and early May, Murphy said during the briefing.

"It will be tough, it will be stressful, but our health system can get through this intact," he said.

On Tuesday, Cuomo said he spoke with Murphy that morning and said they're working on joint strategies to address the spread of the virus. For overload relief, the Javits Center will hold 2,500 patients, and USNS Comfort will now take COVID-19 patients, which will have a capacity for 500 patients.

"The curve is flattening. But this is no time to spike any footballs or take our foot off the gas," Murphy said Monday. "We still have a week and a half to go, at least, before we hit the peak. This is not over. And not by a long shot."