In terms of COVID-19, New York City has been the hardest hit city in the country by far. Confirmed and fatal cases have come in two stages. The first was the skyrocketing spread of the disease in March and April. Hospitals were filled to overflowing. Confirmed cases rose by over 5,000 some days, and deaths per day rose by over 500. The second was a sharp slowing of the spread of the disease, which has lasted from mid-May until about a week ago. Since then, cases have started to jump again. As the disease returns, New York City has passed a milestone. Over 24,000 people have died in the five boroughs of the country’s largest city. No other city is close by this measure.
Yesterday, fatal cases reached 24,087. Confirmed cases totaled 278,312 and have started to pick up at the rate of 1,000 a day, after months when the figure was mostly in the hundreds.
The spread of the disease across the city has been uneven. In Queens County, 5,151 people have died. There have been 80,040 confirmed cases. In Kings County, which is Brooklyn, deaths numbered 5,154 and confirmed cases 79,073. In Bronx County, deaths have reached 3,408, against confirmed cases of 57,425. And in Richmond County, which is Staten Island, fatal cases totaled 765, against confirmed cases of 18,661.
To see the magnitude of the New York City figures, it is worth comparing them to entire large states. Texas, which has the most confirmed cases of any state at 1,038,135, has had 19,423 fatal cases. California is second on the list of confirmed cases by state at 994,341 and has posted 18,073 coronavirus deaths. Florida, in third place by confirmed case count at 852,174, has had 17,460 fatalities.
The spread of the disease throughout New York City also triggered extremely high death counts in nearby counties. Those just north of the city have had fatal cases among the highest in the nation. The same holds true for several counties across the Hudson River, in New Jersey, to New York City’s west, and Long Island, immediately to the east.
After a period during which it appeared New York City would be spared from the very sharp rise in infections in most other parts of the nation, the spread in the city has quickened again. The Wall Street Journal recently ran this headline: “New York City’s Covid-19 Cases Rise at Alarming Rate.” There is a worry that the city may have to be locked down again as it was in the spring, which would be another blow to its economy.
The death toll in New York City already has been terrible. Now, city and state officials are trying to hold off another wave.