New York reimposes restrictions and more may follow
For months, the virus seemed relatively contained in and around New York City, despite clusters in Brooklyn and Queens. But now, as cases rise sharply, a potential second wave has New Yorkers on edge.
In a bid to avoid the devastation of the spring, when thousands of people died, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today reimposed restrictions across the state. Beginning Friday, private indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people — including in private homes — and gyms, bars and restaurants must close nightly at 10 o’clock. (Restaurants can continue to provide takeout after 10 p.m. but only for food.)
Unlike in the spring, when New York was the epicenter of the pandemic, the jump in cases this time arrives as the virus is surging around the country. It’s not just Mr. Cuomo who is raising alarm — governors from coast to coast are issuing dire warnings and begging people to take the virus seriously. For the first time, new cases surpassed 139,000 Tuesday, and 61,964 people were hospitalized across the country with Covid-19, a number higher than at any point during the pandemic.
“We’re seeing a national and global Covid surge,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And New York is a ship on the Covid tide.”
In New York City, the seven-day positivity rate was at 2.5 percent, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, a rate not seen since early June, when nonessential businesses began to reopen. Elsewhere in the region, new limits are being put in place, just in time to damper any illusions of large family gatherings for Thanksgiving.
In Connecticut, which has 548 patients hospitalized, its highest total since May, the governor limited all private gatherings in the state to 10 people and has allowed the hardest-hit municipalities to reimpose limits on other businesses.
In New Jersey, Gov. Philip D. Murphy has put new limits on indoor dining that begin tomorrow night after hospitalizations there more than doubled in the last month, from 653 to 1,801 — a threshold last crossed in June.
Why are Covid cases falling in India?
Two months ago, India looked like a coronavirus disaster zone, with nearly 100,000 new infections a day and deaths shooting up. Today, reported infections, deaths and the share of people testing positive have all fallen significantly.
The country reached a high point of nearly 98,000 daily infections on Sept. 16, but dropped to about 46,000 cases on average per day this past week. The number of daily virus deaths has fallen from 1,200 in mid-September to about 500 today.
Some researchers say the cases aren’t really falling and the lower numbers may be explained by a change in testing. They argue that less reliable tests are being used more frequently, and fewer tests are being administered over all.
Mobility data shows that Indians have returned to shopping areas and public spaces. Many are not wearing masks. A large chunk of the population seems resigned to the threat of infection. In many places, said one cardiologist, “people are partying like there is no tomorrow.”
Experts generally agree that the number of infections has far outstripped efforts to track them in India, and that infections in the country may still get considerably worse.
What else we’re following
What you’re doing
I shaved my little beard today. I was using it to chart pandemic progress, but news of a vaccine that’s 90 percent effective is good enough for me. Timing for actually getting vaccinated may be a close shave, but hopefully heaven can wait.
— Jeff Berry, Madison, Wis.
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Melina Delkic contributed to today’s newsletter.
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