NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The Coronavirus Epidemic Curve is Already Flattening in New York City

Jeffrey E. Harris

NBER Working Paper No. 26917
Issued in April 2020
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics

New York City has been rightly characterized as the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Just one month after the first cases of coronavirus infection were reported in the city, the burden of infected individuals with serious complications of COVID-19 has already outstripped the capacity of many of the city’s hospitals. As in the case of most pandemics, scientists and public officials don’t have complete, accurate, real-time data on the path of new infections. Despite these data inadequacies, there already appears to be sufficient evidence to conclude that the curve in New York City is indeed flattening. The purpose of this report is to set forth the evidence for – and against – this preliminary but potentially important conclusion. Having examined the evidence, we then inquire: if the curve is indeed flattening, do we know what caused to it to level off?

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26917

 
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