New research shows that New York had at least 10,000 cases of coronavirus in February: Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update during a press conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

New data is showing the coronavirus was most likely in New York much earlier than the first recorded case in March.

As of April 23, according to Governor Cuomo, total hospitalizations in New York State are continuing to decline with 1,296 new hospitalizations (14,206). The number of intubations has also decreased. However, 422 lives were lost to coronavirus on April 23.

While Cuomo acknowledged that New York is possibly on the downside of the COVID-19 curve, we need to keep social distancing measures in place to keep the curve from spiking upwards again.

“All the evidence suggests we’re on the downside of the curve,” said Cuomo. “Some projections have the decline slowing between now and June. But these are just projections. The variable is going to be what we do.”

“If you say, ‘we’re done, we can’t stay in the house anymore, let’s just reopen,’….all the progress we made is gone,” Cuomo continued. “Virtually all experts will say not only does the virus spread increase, but it increases to a higher point than we had increased the first time.”

During the briefing, Cuomo spoke about new research that suggests that the virus had entered the United States, particularly in New York, much sooner than originally thought. According to the research, as the United States issued the China travel ban on Feb. 2, coronavirus was spreading rapidly throughout Italy. Between January and March 16, when travel from Europe was restricted, approximately 13,000 flights from Europe carrying 2.2 million came through New Y0rk and New Jersey.

It is estimated that there were likely 28,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States, 10,000 of which were likely in New York.

“The coronavirus that came to New York did not come from China, it came from Europe,” said Cuomo. “We waited two months to act after the China outbreak. Looking back, does anyone really think that the virus was still waiting in China for us to act? We closed the front door with the China travel ban and left the back door open.”

This story originally appeared on amny.com