Research firm says rate of coronavirus infections in US is slowing

Over the last two days, the data coming out of New York — widely regarded as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States — has shown signs of promise.

And those numbers may not be outliers, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics (PM), an economic research firm. The organization’s research shows that the U.S. may be on the downslope of the coronavirus crisis, The Washington Times reports.

Coronavirus downturn

While some believe every part of this country will have an outbreak on the same scale as New York, PM’s analysis shows a different outcome.

On March 18, the U.S. was seeing an 80% increase in cases every day, but that number has significantly decreased recently. By March 26, there was a reported 15% increase in cases.

“It’s too early to call a definitive turning point, but a sustained downturn in the proportion of positive tests, as test numbers increase dramatically — daily tests have risen three-fold over the past two weeks — would be a very favorable development,” PM stated, according to the Times.

The company also said that part of the reason these numbers are falling is that controls like social distancing are starting to show an impact on the number of new infections.

Numbers flattening

Last week and this week were projected to be the worst weeks that the U.S. would experience in this outbreak. While there are some other parts of the country reporting bigger numbers, such as Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Florida, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated that the curve in New York is starting to flatten out.

PM’s analysis concurs with Cuomo’s statement, confirming that New York City’s number of new cases “appears to now to be falling sharply.”

Meanwhile, in the states that continue to climb, there has been proof that social distancing recommendations were completely ignored. Florida and Louisiana especially are now dealing with the repercussions of Spring Break and Mardi Gras.

Some of the more dire predictions about the hospitalization rate and death toll expected within the U.S. have been proven wrong in recent days as well.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations model, one of the models that the White House has based its policy on, predicted that 150,000 hospital beds would be occupied with COVID-19 patients by April 4. The actual number of hospitalizations to this date stands at 32,000.

Current models suggest we could lose anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 people, but there is hope that by extending the social distancing and cutting down unnecessary travel, those numbers will be dramatically reduced as well.

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