Airport controls and bans on foreigners from China implemented on February 2 and restrictions on travelers from Europe implemented on March 13 have done nothing to stop or slow the spread of SARS-CoV- 2, the virus that causes COVID-19 because it was already in New York, according to the report released Thursday.
Using data from patients with flu-like symptoms in six New York City emergency departments (two in Manhattan, two in Queens, one in Brooklyn and one in the Bronx) from March 1 to 20 , the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that out of 544 people, 36 were HIV positive for SARS-CoV-2 and the samples looked like those circulating in Europe.
Five of the six emergency departments were selected because of their use by patients residing in postal codes with a high proportion of Chinese speakers, according to the report. However, none of the samples collected were directly linked to sequences from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Thursday: “When [President Trump] says “open”, it means open and full … Science should not stand in the way of that. ”
The report also found that during the weeks of March 8 and March 15, there was an increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 among New Yorkers under the age of 18. The DOHMH estimated that there was an increase in the prevalence and undetected cases of COVID-19 in young people, which raises the question of the role played by children in community transmission at the start of the pandemic and the effectiveness of school closure as a mitigation strategy.
This comes down to the limited availability of testing, which remains a problem for most states more than four months after notification of the first case of COVID-19.
Governor Andrew Cuomo called the report “damning” on Thursday and said the travel ban on China and Europe was the federal government’s first mistake in the country’s unsuccessful attempt to slow the spread.
“There is going to be a second failure which is now fully predictable in the rest of the country,” Cuomo told MSNBC.
The results of the new rapid test can be ready in as little as 15 minutes, the city said, admitting that it is not quite as accurate as the other tests which take much longer to get results . Andrew Siff of NBC New York.
“We have still not implemented the operation. We are going to see this infection come back to New York and reinfect New York unless we are very lucky. It was not only the first failure that allowed the virus to come. It is the second failure that four months later we are still talking about eight days to get the results of the tests, “he continued.
DOHMH agreed that limited testing has led to many undetected COVID-19 cases, but this was also due to strict test criteria. At the start of the pandemic, only New Yorkers with known symptoms of coronavirus at the time were allowed to be tested and they needed the permission of a doctor.
Now all New Yorkers can get tested. But while Cuomo announced Thursday that they could get the result in one day, some said they had waited more than a week to get their results.
Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest labs testing, says that increasing demand in other states has also increased the turnaround time for test results.
“We attribute this demand primarily to the rapid and continuous spread of COVID-19 infections across the country, but particularly in the southern, southwest and western regions of the country,” the laboratory said in a press release published Wednesday.
Coronavirus infections are increasing in 40 states and daily deaths have increased by more than 20% from last week. Florida, where many cruises begin and end, has reported nearly 14,000 new virus cases and set a single-day record of 156 deaths reported on Thursday, breaking the previous record of 132 deaths reported on Tuesday.
Tests in the three states that used to take only a few days have now been delayed by a week or more due to increases in other parts of the country. NBC New York report Pei-Sze Cheng.