One chart shows how quickly New York City became the epicenter of the US's coronavirus outbreak

awoodward@businessinsider.com (Aylin Woodward)
A man crosses a nearly empty 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, March 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

More than 17,800 coronavirus cases — nearly 30% of the US's total — have been reported across New York City's five boroughs. Almost 200 New York residents — one-quarter of the American fatalities — have died from the virus since the city's first reported case on March 1.

Comparing New York City's daily summaries of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations shows how quickly the city's coronavirus outbreak is escalating. In the 10 days between March 14 and 24, the number of cases there jumped from 185 to 15,597.

Nearly 2,500 new cases were reported on Tuesday, and another 2,300 were reported on Wednesday morning. Its epidemic curve looks like a steep staircase. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on March 20 mandating that all nonessential businesses keep their workers at home, instructing people across the state to stay home and practice social distancing. It went into effect at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The US's epidemic curve mirrors that of NYC

The US has the world's third-highest total of coronavirus cases. Its outbreak appears to be getting worse — each day brings an equal or higher number of new confirmed cases than the one before.

For a month or so following the first confirmed US case on January 20, the number of reported cases remained low: less than 15 (this number is dependent on testing, however, which was initially delayed and limited in the US). Then on February 28 — the day after the US' first case of community spread was reported — the number of cases started to rise each day, and that trend hasn't stopped.

Between March 10 and March 13, the number of new US cases tripled — in part due to an increase in testing in state and private labs around the country. Between March 16 and 20, the number of cases tripled again, from about 5,600 to more than 16,600. The last five days have seen a third tripling: Between March 20 and 25, the number of cases jumped from about 16,600 to more than 62,800.

About half of those 62,800 cases have been reported in New York State. 

Hospital workers are seen near a tent erected to test for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn, New York City, U.S., March 19, 2020.

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Cases have now been reported in all 50 states and Washington, DC, along with Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. More than 800 Americans have died. One-quarter of the US deaths have been reported in New York City.

Ruobing Su contributed reporting to this story.

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