U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Still Rising Steeply, But Signs That New York Daily Deaths May Be Peaking

Cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. are approaching nearly 600,000, with over 23,000 fatalities, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. death toll appears to be continuing on a steep curve compared with other nations in Europe and Asia, while New York has shown signs of reaching its peak daily death toll, according to the latest projections.

The number of deaths in the U.S. has been doubling nearly every three days over roughly the past week. But the death tolls in Italy, Spain, France, the U.K., Germany, China and South Korea have started to plateau in the same period, according to Financial Times' analysis of available data sources by reporter John Burn-Murdoch.

The daily death count in the U.S. has also been rising on a steep curve, while that of Italy, Spain, France and the U.K. have been slightly declining over roughly the past seven days, according to the FT analysis.

The daily death toll in New York, which has seen at least 10,056 deaths, has been increasing on a steep gradient over the past few days. But the daily death counts have been slightly declining or starting to plateau in some of Europe's worst-hit regions, including Lombardy in Italy as well as Madrid and Catalonia in Spain, according to the FT analysis.

Now subnational region daily deaths:
• Early signs that NY daily deaths may be peaking, but need to wait and see
• Same in London, though Easter weekend reporting is having a big downward effect on UK numbers

All charts: https://t.co/JxVd2cG7KI pic.twitter.com/vgHzYY55aE

— John Burn-Murdoch (@jburnmurdoch) April 13, 2020

New York's daily death count may be hitting its peak, having seen a daily death toll on Easter Sunday which was "not as bad as it has been in the past," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference on Monday.

"Number of deaths [on April 12] is 671. Not as bad as it has been in the past, but basically flat and basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow. This is 671 people who passed away on Easter Sunday," Cuomo said.

He added that the curve of the outbreak is flattening, noting the number of hospital admissions, including admissions to the ICU (intensive care unit), has been flattening over a three-day period.

"The curve continues to flatten...it appears that we have a plateau. It's flattening, it's the flattening of the curve. The increase has slowed down," he said at the press conference.

"If you look at the number of total [hospital] admissions, 18,000, 18,000, 18,000—that's definitely a flattening. That is good news. Still going up a little bit, by the way, but a basic flattening as opposed to increasing gaps.

"The total number of hospitalizations net down, a little bit up, a little bit down... Almost every bed is an ICU bed. Net change in ICU admissions is also down," he added.

The governor noted the worst of the outbreak may be over, if the state continues to follow mitigation measures, but warned the end of it will not be reached until there is a proven vaccine.

"I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. And I believe we can now start on the path to normalcy, and we can have a plan where you start to see some businesses reopening, understanding the delicate balance," he said Monday.

"And then you'll get to a point where they [the government] announce we have a proven vaccine...that's really when it's over...when do we get there? Twelve months to 18 months," he said, pointing to approximations on the availability of the vaccine given previously by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and member of the U.S. COVID-19 virus task force led by Vice President Mike Pence.

Dumbo, Brooklyn, NYC, coronavirus mask, March 2020
A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks the pier on March 24, 2020 in the Dumbo neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Getty Images

Cuomo applauded state residents for following mitigation measures which have "actually made significant progress," he said, while warning: "Do not reverse the progress that we have made in our zeal to reopen and get back to normal. That's going to be the challenge going forward."

The novel coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, has spread to more than 1.9 million people across at least 185 countries and regions. The U.S. has over 582,500 confirmed cases, including reportedly over 44,300 recoveries, as of Tuesday.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.

Spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus in the U.S. Statista

Data on COVID-19 cases is from Johns Hopkins University unless otherwise stated.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.