As states in the United States gradually ease lockdown restrictions, confirmed cases outside of New York City are actually rising.
Drawing on data by John Hopkins University, it was found that by including the New York metropolitan area in models and reports – New York City is by far the epicenter of the outbreak – the number of new confirmed cases per day are declining.
However, New York remains on strict lockdown until mid-May and due to the decrease in human transmissions the last two weeks have seen a decrease in the number of COVID-19 diagnoses.
At its reported peak on April 7, there were 9,900 new cases per day. On May 1, there are fewer than half that, with around 3,850 confirmed cases
But cases in the rest of the country have surged to their highest number yet, at about 23,600 without counting those in New York City.
“This virus is still circulating in our community, perhaps even more now than in previous weeks,” says Linda Ochs, the Health Department director for Shawnee County, Kansas.
The increase comes at a time when testing capabilities have also been expanded.
In Los Angeles, citizens have been told that they can get tested – for free – for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they are showing symptoms of the virus.
However, experts don’t believe that the greater availability of testing is responsible for the increase.
This comes after an unofficial and disputed internal government report was leaked to the media in which it is estimated that the daily death toll due to COVID-19 would more than double the current daily numbers, reaching around 3,000 by June 1.
These findings also come amid a whistleblower complaint issued by Rick Bright, the former director of a US agency responsible for developing drugs to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Bright claims that the president downplayed the severity of the outbreak and that Bright was removed from the COVID response team for challenging Trump for advocating hydroxychloroquine as a possible coronavirus cure.