A cyclist wearing a face mask rides on the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn borough of New York, the United States, May 27, 2020.
Michael Nagle | Xinhua via Getty Images
New York City saw its first day without any confirmed deaths from the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to new data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The city reported its first confirmed Covid-19 death on March 11, and the number peaked on April 7 when 590 coronavirus patients died in New York City, according to the city’s data. Confirmed deaths have been steadily declining since then, falling below 100 on May 9 for the first time since March 24.
Confirmed Covid-19 deaths account for people who tested positive for the virus. The city noted that there were three “probable” coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, meaning that they exhibited the symptoms of Covid-19 but haven’t been tested yet. Probable deaths could be reclassified as confirmed deaths later as tests are processed.
The milestone marks a hopeful point in the recovery of the city, which was the initial epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. It also represents a turning point in the country’s epidemic, as restrictions on individual movement and businesses has driven down the spread of the virus in the hardest-hit cities such as New York.
However, overall daily new infections across the country continue to tick upwards as states across the country ease restrictions and the virus circulates in new communities. New cases in the U.S. have risen over the past three days with a seven-day average of 21,763 daily new cases reported as of Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The coronavirus has infected more than 202,319 people in New York City and the city has reported 16,992 confirmed deaths as well as 4,760 probable deaths, according to the city’s health department.
New York City is scheduled to shift into phase one of the state’s reopening plan on Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously said. Phase one allows for more businesses to resume operations, including construction, manufacturing and retail, but only for curbside pick-up.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the city could move into phase two of reopening as soon as early July if it meets the state’s health requirements. Phase two would allow for outdoor dining to reopen, de Blasio said, as well as in-person retail, barbershops and more.
The state is monitoring seven key indicators to guide decisions on when regions such as New York City can safely reopen while continuing to monitor for any resurgence.
In order to begin phase one of the state’s reopening plan, a region must report two weeks of declining Covid-19 hospitalizations or under 15 new hospitalizations on a three-day average, two weeks of declining coronavirus deaths or under five new deaths on a three-day average and under two new hospitalizations for Covid-19 per 100,000 residents on a three-day rolling average.
A region must also have proper hospital and intensive-care bed capacity and meet an adequate threshold of contact tracers and testing.
As of Friday morning, New York City had met five of the state’s seven criteria. The city needs to increase its share of total hospital beds available and ramp up its number of contact tracers deployed in order to meet the state’s reopening criteria.
— Graphic by CNBC’s John Schoen.