• Thomas Parker

New York virus cases eclipse Spain, but social distancing is working

The State of New York now has more than 162,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, surpassing any single European country. The U.S. has more than 466,000 confirmed cases, and 16,700 have died from the virus.

Despite the uptrend in confirmed cases, there are signs that social distancing and other measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus are working. The Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation (IHME) projects that the peak resource utilization of hospital beds and ventilators will occur this weekend, and that the number of deaths per day will begin to decline starting on Monday.

The IHME model revised downward its projection of U.S. deaths from the virus, from 82,000 earlier this week to 60,000, demonstrating that preventative measures to limit the spread of the virus are working.

Globally, the number of confirmed cases passed 1.6 million, and total deaths from the virus are nearing 100,000. More than 365,000 people have recovered from the virus, though that figure is likely significantly underestimating the number of people who had the virus and did not suffer severe symptoms.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top medical adviser working for the Trump administration, said that antibody tests would be available within about a week in order to verify whether a person recently had the coronavirus.

"If their antibody test is positive, one can formulate strategies about whether or not they would be at risk or vulnerable to getting re-infected," Fauci said. "Because it's very likely that there are a large number of people out there that have been infected, have been asymptomatic and did not know they were infected."

As officials begin discussing what it would take for the US to reopen, there could be "merit" to the idea of Americans carrying certificates of immunity that prove they have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, Fauci said.

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