Researchers say NJ, NY no longer on track to 'contain' virus

COVID Map Updated
Posted at 9:38 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 06:41:37-04

NEW YORK — A website researching how all 50 states are working to contain the coronavirus says that there are some signs New York and New Jersey are "treading water" when it comes to the virus.

COVID Act Now, which describes itself as "a team of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts, and public policy leaders working to provide disease intelligence and data analysis on COVID in the U.S." says that New York and New Jersey, previously on track to contain the virus, are now both showing only "controlled disease growth."

"New York and New Jersey's infection growth rates have both regressed to approximately 1.0," said Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, co-founder and spokesperson for COVID Act Now. "This means that the number of actively infected people is no longer shrinking, as was the case last week, but are holding steady and 'treading water,' neither increasing nor decreasing."

Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy have cited the site's work previously.

The good news for both states is that their positive test rates, ICU capacities and contract tracing remain top notch. But the infection rate suggests that while the disease is spreading slowly, it's still spreading.

"While this is better than many other states in the U.S., the public health ideal is to contain COVID-19, similar to what we're seeing in Western Europe and East Asia, which means maintaining a negative growth rate and driving the disease as close to zero as possible," added Kreiss-Tompkins.

Both states have recently begun to gradually reopen businesses with lower positive test numbers. However, COVID Act Now warns that "if this trend continues, [both states] may eventually achieve herd immunity, though this may take years."

In New Jersey, 172,356 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and over 13,000 have died. In New York, over 400,000 people have tested positive and over 31,000 have died from COVID-19.