(The Canadian Press)

(The Canadian Press)

World virus deaths pass 100,000, with New York area hit hard

New York metropolitan area accounted for more than half the nation’s over 18,000 deaths on Friday

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus surged past 100,000 Friday as the epidemic in the U.S. cut a widening swath through not just New York City but the entire three-state metropolitan area of 20 million people connected by a tangle of subways, trains and buses.

In the bedroom communities across the Hudson River in New Jersey, to the east on Long Island and north to Connecticut, officials were recording some of the worst outbreaks in the country, even as public health authorities expressed optimism that the pace of infections appeared to be slowing.

As of Friday, the New York metropolitan area accounted for more than half the nation’s over 18,000 deaths, with other hot spots in places such as Detroit, Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

“Once it gets into the city, there are so many commuters and travel, it gets everywhere,” said Matt Mazewski, a Columbia University economics student who tried to get away from the epicenter by leaving his apartment near the New York City campus for his parents’ house in Long Valley, New Jersey.

Worldwide, the number of deaths hit another sad milestone, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, while confirmed infections reached about 1.7 million.

The U.S. is on track to overtake Italy as the country with the highest number of dead, though the true figures on infections and lives lost around the world are believed be much higher because of limited testing, government coverups and different counting practices.

In places such as New York, Italy and Spain, for example, many victims who died outside a hospital — say, in a house or a nursing home — have not been included in the count.

With Christians around the world heading into Easter weekend, public health officials and religious leaders alike urged people to stay home, warning that violating lockdowns and social distancing rules could cause the virus to come storming back. Authorities in Europe put up roadblocks, used helicopters and drones, and cited drivers who had no good reason to be out.

Even in places where the crisis seemed to be easing, the daily death totals were hard to bear.

“I understand intellectually why it’s happening,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, where deaths rose by 777, to more than 7,800. “It doesn’t make it any easier to accept.”

But New York officials also said the number of people in intensive care dropped for the first time since mid-March and hospitalizations were slowing: 290 new patients in a single day, compared with daily increases of more than 1,000 last week. Cuomo said that if the trend holds, New York might not need the overflow field hospitals that officials have been scrambling to build.

New Jersey’s outbreaks began with the state’s first confirmed infection, in a man who commuted between New York and his Fort Lee apartment. The virus is now in all 21 New Jersey counties.

Some suburbs had an infection rate even higher than New York City’s, including Rockland County, where the rate was double.

As of Friday, Nassau County, on New York’s Long Island, had over 700 deaths. Bergen County, New Jersey, and Westchester County, New York, had around 400 each. Essex County, New Jersey, and Suffolk County, New York, both recorded more than 350. Fairfield County, Connecticut, had about 180.

Connecticut officials said many infections can be traced to cases in New York’s Westchester County.

“This is a virus that knows no borders,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said last month.

For several days, two of the globe’s other worst-hit places, Italy and Spain, reported that new infections, hospitalizations and deaths have been levelling off even as the daily death tolls remain shocking.

Spain recorded 605 more deaths, its lowest figure in more than two weeks, bringing its overall toll to more than 15,800. Italy reported 570 additional deaths for a total of more than 18,800.

With some signs of hope emerging, questions intensified about when restrictions might be loosened. Spain said factories and construction sites could resume work Monday, while schools, most shops and offices will remain closed. In Italy, there were pleas to restart manufacturing.

The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that lifting restrictions prematurely could “lead to a deadly resurgence.”

Cuomo echoed that, saying, “Before we take a step forward, let’s look at what we’re stepping into.”

Italy, Ireland and Greece were among the countries extending lockdown orders into May.

As the threat receded in some places, it increased elsewhere. In the U.S., Michigan announced 205 new deaths Friday, its highest daily total, up from 117 a day earlier. In Europe, Britain recorded 980 new deaths, likewise a one-day high, for close to 9,000 dead in all.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained hospitalized with the virus but was out of intensive care. His father, Stanley Johnson, said the prime minister needs to “rest up” before returning to work.

On Good Friday, some churches worldwide held services online, while others arranged prayers at drive-in theatres.

In Paris, services were broadcast from a nearly empty, closed-to-the-public Notre Dame Cathedral, still heavily scarred from a fire a year ago. In Warsaw, Poland, priests wearing masks heard confessions in a parking lot. And in New Orleans, the Catholic archbishop sprinkled holy water from the Jordan River from a biplane travelling overhead.

Matt Sedensky, Mike Catalini And Jim Mustian, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File Photo)
Calling all Elkford non-profits: Bursary Program registration is now open

The bursary gives $1,000 to a local non-profit to assist with community-related projects or programs

(File Photo)
Elkford Business Walks to begin in February

Topics of discussion include changes, successes, and the impact of COVID-19 on businesses

(File Photo)
KES brings employment education to those over 55

The Encore program is targeted to adults past traditional retirement years looking for employment

Angel Flight East Kootenay was one of the three recipients of funding from the inaugural Giving Event. (Photo Contributed)
100 local women collect $10,500 for community organizations

The 100 WWC Fernie donated $3,500 to three grassroots organizations via their first Giving Event

Colleen Braconnier and her care aid, Karla McKie, outside of Rocky Mountain Village. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)
‘We have such a good group here’: Local senior keeps head held high throughout pandemic

COVID-19 hasn’t stopped RMV resident, Colleen Braconnier, from remaining positive

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read