‘Sweet 16’ party becomes ‘superspreader’ event in New York

A 16th birthday party in New York state became a super-spreader event with dozens of attendees contracting coronavirus, according to officials.

The September 25 shindig at the plush Miller Place Inn on Long Island left 37 people infected with COVID-19 and forced more than 270 into quarantine.

Over 80 people attended the party, known as a “Sweet 16” in the United States, well above the state’s 50-person limit. The venue has been closed temporarily and fined $12,000, local officials said.

“We’ve never seen a super-spreader event like this before in Suffolk County,” tweeted the area’s county executive on Wednesday.

“People have to act responsibly so that we do not have another economic setback.”

New York state has largely kept coronavirus under control in recent months after 33,000 residents died from the virus, mainly in the spring.

But in recent weeks, infections have multiplied in some areas, especially in neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish populations.

Governor Andrew Cuomo closed non-essential businesses and capped places of worship at ten people in the so-called red zones.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the measures on Thursday, citing tightened restrictions in Europe where cases are on the rise.

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New York City had 24,000 'excess deaths', CDC report finds

Coronavirus blamed for 75% of New York City’s 24,000 ‘excess deaths’ as fatalities tripled the usual rate at the height of the outbreak, CDC report finds

  • Between March 11 and May 2, a total of 32,107 deaths were reported in New York
  • Researchers found that 24,172 were ‘excess’, three times the typical number of 7,935 usually reported during this time
  • The excess deaths included about 14,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 5,048 probable COVID-19 deaths
  • The CDC says the high number of excess deaths may be linked to people with pre-existing conditions or those who waited to seek life-saving medical care
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The number of people who died in New York City during the height of the coronavirus pandemic is more than triple what would be expected in a normal year, a new report finds.   

Between March 11 and May 2, there were more than 24,000 ‘excess deaths’, compared to years prior, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed on Monday. 

That means, in a typical year, there are about 8,000 deaths during the same period.

More than three-quarters of those deaths were associated with COVID-19, the highly-infectious disease caused by the virus.  

Between March 11 and May 2, a total of 32,107 deaths were reported in New York and 24,000 were found to be ‘excess,’ a new CDC report reveals (pictured)

The excess deaths included about 14,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 5,048 probable COVID-19 deaths.Pictured: Ventilator tubes attached to a coronavirus patient in the ICU of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in New  York, NY, April 24

The CDC says the high number of excess deaths may be linked to people with pre-existing conditions or those who waited to seek life-saving medical care. Pictured: A COVID-19 patient, in a medically induced coma, is connected to life-sustaining devices at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, NY, April 14

Excess deaths are defined as over and above the number of people that would have died anyway – the typical mortality rate of a population.  

For the report, the researchers looked at mortality data from January 1, 2015 through May 2, 2020. 

Next, the team calculated the difference between the seasonal number of expected deaths and the number of all deaths.

A total of 32,107 deaths were reported to New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene over the study period. 

Of that number, 24,172 were found to ‘excess’, three times the typical number of 7,935 that usually occur during the two-month window.  

The excess deaths included nearly 14,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated deaths and 5,048 probable COVID-19–associated deaths. 

According to the CDC, the high number of excess deaths might be due to the added risk of coronavirus in people with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes.

Additionally, the researchers say that due to social distancing measures and the increasing demand place on hospitals, people may have delayed seeking life-saving medical care. 

The 5,000 deaths not linked to the virus are likely from other pathogens circulating during the 2019-20 flu season. 

‘Tracking excess mortality is important to understanding the contribution to the death rate from both COVID-19 disease and the lack of availability of care for non-COVID conditions,’ the authors concluded. 

The report comes on the heels of a joint investigation by Yale University and The Washington Post, which found there were 15,400 ‘excess deaths’ that occurred between March 1 and April 4. 

According the study, pre-printed on medRxiv.org, there were 280,016 total deaths  over the five-week period.

Of those, 15,400 were deemed excess deaths due to pneumonia and influenza.

The researchers say the preliminary findings suggest many more Americans may have died of coronavirus than previously believed.  

In the US, there are currently more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of the virus and more than 80,000 deaths. 

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