By Robert Pozarycki
The number zero never looked so good in New York City.
Saturday, July 11, marked the first time in four months that there were no recorded COVID-19 deaths in New York City, according to preliminary data from the New York City Health Department.
There were no official COVID-19 deaths reported on July 10, but the Health Department is investigating two deaths possibly linked to the global pandemic that has sickened more than 3 million people and killed more than 130,000 in the U.S. alone.
It’s a stark contrast to the current state of the pandemic in the Union, where the virus is out of control. On Sunday, Florida reported more than 15,000 cases on July 11, surpassing the highest one-day total of confirmed infections that New York state had recorded back in April.
The first reported COVID-19 death in New York City happened on March 13, when an 82-year-old woman died from its complications at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border.
That began one of the most tragic periods in New York City’s history, as the COVID-19 death toll spiked citywide in the weeks that followed. Medical workers worked furiously to save as many lives as they could, risking their own in the process — with a number of them paying the ultimate sacrifice.
The virus peaked in early April with horrifying consequences; over a nine-day period between April 5 and April 13 alone, the city reported more than 500 deaths from the illness each day.
Morgues quickly filled with virus victims, to the point that medical centers had to use refrigerated trucks parked outside their facilities to store the dead until families claimed the bodies.
But after hitting its peak in early April, the number of cases began to drop, as capacity restriction, social distancing and mask-wearing orders took effect in the city. The number of infections would gradually drop in the weeks that followed, and it allowed New York City to finally begin reopening in phases in early June.
As of July 12, there have been 18,670 confirmed deaths from the illness out of 215,924 infections in New York City. Another 4,613 deaths believed to be linked to the virus are being investigated.