The Hill

Coronavirus In USA: Is It Time To Ease The Lockdowns?

New York may soon set an example for the reopening of areas affected by COVID-19 in the U.S. The state recorded the highest number of coronavirus patients across the country but cases have started to dramatically decline in April. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires regions to observe a 14-day decrease in hospitalizations linked to COVID-19 before reopening. New York saw a continued decline in both hospitalization and deaths over the weekend. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced daily hospital admittances dropped to less than 1,000 on Monday. Hospitalization rate has been declining every day since April 12, Newsweek reported.

With the declining numbers, New York now looks forward to allowing residents to return to normal life. But experts warned it is important that the government sets plans to safely reopen heavily affected areas to avoid another coronavirus outbreak. 

“This must be based on what we now know, not on worst-case projections, using facts and fundamental medical knowledge, not fear or single-vision policies,” Scott Atlas, the David and Joan Traitel Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said in an article posted on New York Post

But reopening plans should continue requiring people to practice social distancing and wear masks in public places. Atlas said older adults and other people at high risk of contracting the novel coronavirus continue to follow strict distancing guidelines. 

Workplaces and businesses may restart operations with precautions and sanitization standards. The areas commonly filled with children and young adults, which both have low risk of getting COVID-19, may also reopen, including schools.

Atlas said ending mass isolation may even allow the less vulnerable population to develop immunity to the coronavirus. He suggested that exposing healthy people to the virus may help the state dramatically achieve “herd immunity.” 

Things To Consider To End Shutdowns

There are factors to consider before governments start to reopen the areas heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. First one is the fatality rate of COVID-19 and the population at highest risk of serious complications. 

“We know the risk of ­dying from COVID-19 is far lower than initially thought, and not significant for the overwhelming majority of those infected,” Atlas said. “And regardless of age, if you don’t already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small.”

He cited studies from Germany, Iceland and the U.S. that found the disease’s fatality rate may only be 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent. In New York, people aged 18 to 45 have 0.01 percent chances of dying from COVID-19, while patients under 18 have zero per 100,000.

Another factor to consider is the demand for healthcare services suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Atlas said millions of people in the U.S. missed treatments due to fear of encountering the virus.

During the pandemic, some hospitals and clinics stopped providing emergency care, cancer screenings, chemotherapy, brain surgery, transplants and childhood vaccinations. 

New York and COVID-19 New York recorded the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the U.S., but cases have started to dramatically decline in April 2020. Pixabay

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