In the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, New York’s death toll appears to be rising at a faster rate than any other state and most other countries.

Governor Cuomo reported that 210 New Yorkers had died from the disease as of Tuesday – a higher number than all but eight countries in the world.


This is an installment in a special series of #NYCoronaVirus Chronicles by Empire Center analysts, focused on New York’s state and local policy response to the Coronavirus pandemic.


It crossed the 200 mark just 11 days after recording its first death on March 13. The comparable time for Italy, the world’s hardest-hit nation, was 15 days.

As shown in the first chart below – modeled on graphics produced by The New York Times – New York’s toll is roughly doubling every two days, putting it on a relatively steep track compared to the rest of the world. 

The second chart shows the same trends on a linear as opposed to logarithmic scale.

Sources: Worldometer, NYS governor’s office, Empire Center calculations (Click to enlarge)

New York has also recorded the largest number of diagnosed cases in the U.S., and among the largest in the world. That metric is likely distorted by the state’s higher rate of testing – which has the potential to catch mild cases that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. For that reason, the death count may give a clearer picture of the outbreak’s scale.

It’s also a lagging indicator: Estimates of the incubation period for the virus range from two to 14 days, meaning the New Yorkers dying now may have first been exposed weeks ago. It also means that it could be early to mid-April before the state’s and the nation’s dramatic efforts to slow the spread – through “social distancing” and the governor’s tight restrictions on public gatherings, businesses and other activities – and other efforts to contain the spread begin to slow the rising death toll.

In short, New Yorkers should brace themselves for worse to come.

About the Author

Bill Hammond

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Read more by Bill Hammond

You may also like

New York Has Widened Its Lead in Per-Capita Spending on Medicaid

New York's per-capita Medicaid spending soared to more than double the nationwide rate in 2018, widening its gap with the other 49 states. Read More

New York’s Medicaid Enrollment Surges to an All-Time High

New York's Medicaid program is growing at its fastest rate in six years, with a quarter-million additional enrollees landing in the safety-net health plan during the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic.  Read More

New York’s Health Premiums Remain Among the Highest in the U.S.

The average cost of New Yorkers' health benefits increased by less than the national average in 2019 but remained among the highest in the U.S., according to recently published federal data. Read More

New York’s Medicaid Roller Coaster Takes an Unusual Turn

The state's Medicaid spending was significantly lower than projected in the first quarter, but that's not necessarily a positive sign for state finances. Read More

Filling in the Blanks of New York’s Coronavirus Pandemic

Because New York was hit with the coronavirus early, before testing was widely available, its official count of infections – at just over 400,000 – vastly understates the scale of its outbreak. Read More

Cuomo Administration Ducks Important Questions on Nursing Homes

A new report from the state Health Department tries to deflect blame for thousands of coronavirus deaths in the state's nursing homes—but undermines its own case by withholding data and engaging in tendentious analysis. Read More

New Data Confirm New York State’s Q1 Economic Plunge

New York's economy ended the first quarter of this year in virtual free fall, the latest federal data show. Read More

Nursing Home Vacancy Rate Soars, Hinting at a Higher Coronavirus Toll

The vacancy rate in New York's nursing homes has more than doubled since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that the death toll among residents may be thousands higher than officially reported. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@empirecenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.