Cuomo: Good news -- we seem to be flattening the hospitalization curve

Not great news, but it is good news if the trend holds up. New York has seen a significantly downward trend in hospitalizations, which would suggest that the nation’s hottest COVID-19 spot might be on the way to containing the epidemic. The number hasn’t been this low in nearly a month, NBC News points out:

That’s precisely what we’re looking to see — a curve that suggests that the spread of the virus has either slowed or stopped. That’s the best measure we have at the moment, but it’s still an indirect measure. We need much more robust testing capacity to get a direct measurement on the coronavirus spread in each state and city, but we do know from experience in other countries that this is a good sign.

Unfortunately, the news is nowhere near as good on the human cost in New York. Deaths hit a new high, which is not unexpected, since death counts typically lag hospitalizations by 1-2 weeks. That means — as predicted — New York will have an ugly trend for at least another week on COVID-related deaths.

New York has now surpassed the death total from 9/11, Cuomo notes:

And the death data will get a lot worse before it gets better, too.

Still, the bend in the hospitalization trendline is legitimately good news — if it keeps going in that direction. It means that their health-care providers will get less overwhelmed and have more resources to deal with new acute cases, with better outcomes expected. That doesn’t mean New Yorkers can go back to business as usual, Cuomo warned. In fact, they need to be even more vigilant for the next couple of weeks, because even the moderate-case scenario would be intolerable:

Plus, Cuomo points out, this is just the first wave. Maybe it will be the only wave, but Cuomo’s not betting on it:

To quote Star Wars, “Nice shooting, kids. Don’t get cocky.” If this trend continues to the end of the month, however, it might mean that New York and New York City will be ready for the modest reopening of the economy envisaged by the Trump administration to start on May 1. That will be good news for the rest of America, especially if other places can keep the upward curve from arching up logarithmically in the first place.