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Why Are New York’s Numbers Remaining Low? (So Far)

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: A man walks by a memorial for those who have died from the coronavirus outside Green-Wood Cemetery on May 27, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Green-Wood Cemetery, one of New Yor... NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27: A man walks by a memorial for those who have died from the coronavirus outside Green-Wood Cemetery on May 27, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Green-Wood Cemetery, one of New York's oldest cemeteries, has been the site of hundreds of burials and cremations of Covid-19 victims. While certain neighborhoods are still seeing high infection numbers, New York has seen the number of deaths from COVID-19 statewide begin to consistently stay below 100 people per day. The United States has now surpassed 100,000 deaths from the virus. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 24, 2020 3:56 p.m.

One of the most pressing questions about the COVID epidemic is why some places are doing so much better than others. This applies both globally and within the United States. One example that gets raised a lot is why is New York State doing so relatively well while states in the South and Southwest are being hit so hard?

We need to start the conversation saying a) We don’t completely know and B) There are clearly multiple factors. But let me share some thoughts with you on one part of this debate.

While I still cringe that I see people in New York City not wearing masks, the truth is mask wearing is near universal in New York City. My sense is that aggressive mitigation efforts, both pressed by state authorities and embraced by the population, is the main reason why New York has at least to date avoided a second wave of infection. The last time New York’s case positivity rate went over 2% was June 2nd.

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