The summer has seen a major shift in coronavirus hotspots around the country, beginning with Florida, Texas, and California and now moving into Midwestern sates. Yes, the virus is showing signs of slowly creeping north—even into some areas previously considered to be “safe” from COVID-19. But one state in particular is serving as a shining example of a crisis well-handled: New York. In fact, it’s doing so well at beating COVID, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI) is going so far as calling New York the “wonderful success story” of the pandemic.
In a tweet on August 4, Ashish Jha, MD, took a break from pointing out overlooked struggling states to give credit to the Empire State. He praised New York’s numbers, saying it’s “doing 67,000 tests a day [and] finding 670 cases a day.” That’s a 1 percent positive test rate, which matches what Covid Act Now reports.
Just how well is New York handling the pandemic? “This is South Korea level,” Jha wrote, citing the Asian country’s successful control of the disease. “And it’s awesome.”
Once the epicenter of the global pandemic, almost all indicators appear to show that New York is on the right path in curbing the spread of the disease. As of August 5, the state ranked in the top 5 in the U.S. for lowest daily new cases per capita, according to the HGHI’s COVID Risk Level map. It’s seeing a seven-day average of 3.5 new cases per 100,000 people. New York also posted a six percent decrease in overall new cases over the past two weeks, according to The New York Times. On August 4, New York City also marked its third straight day without a coronavirus death, CBS News reported.
Perhaps most impressively, Jha pointed out that the state is in the rare position to do something others are struggling to do thanks to its current numbers. “Transmission levels [are] so low,” he tweeted, “NY can, with proper precautions, open schools safely.” As it currently stands, schools are set to open in New York in the coming weeks, so long as infection rates stay below 3 percent, Gothamist reports.
But New York is not resting on its declining numbers. The state is continuing to hold off on reopening bars and indoor dining and instituting a strict quarantine for visitors from states where COVID-19 is surging. “Our progress in New York is even better than we expected, thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on August 4. “We cannot go back to the hell we experienced just a few months ago—and surging infection rates across the country threaten to bring us back there—so we must all remain vigilant.” And for more on why a certain successful state is slipping, check out The Surprising Source of Hawaii’s COVID Surge, According to Officials.