New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared projections on Wednesday that suggest the state can expect to reach its "apex" for novel coronavirus hospitalizations in 21 days.

Why it matters: The number of cases in New York is expected to continue surging for weeks, even as President Trump suggests that parts of the country should lift social distancing restrictions by Easter — 18 days away.

What he's saying:

"What we're studying is what is the high point of that line, what is the apex of that line? That is the point of the greatest number of people coming into the hospital system. So that's our greatest load, is the apex. And when is that going to happen? Again, that is a projection. Again, that moves around. But the current projection is that could be in 21 days."
— Gov. Cuomo

The big picture: New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., with more than 30,000 cases as of Wednesday morning. Cuomo said the state needs 140,000 hospital beds, but currently has about 53,000.

  • He has also warned the state is short of the 30,000 ventilators needed to manage the crisis.

The state of play: The governor pointed to evidence suggesting that social distancing is working, as the rate of people who need hospitalization has slowed in recent days.

  • "This past Sunday, the projection was that hospitalizations were doubling every two days," Cuomo said. "On Monday, the numbers suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days. On Tuesday, the projections suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days."
  • "The theory is given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly."

Go deeper

Updated Jul 2, 2020 - Health

U.S. daily coronavirus cases top 50,000 for first time

A medical technologist processes test samples for the coronavirus at a lab in Tampa, Florida, on June 25. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

The number of people to test positive for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. surpassed 50,000 for the first time ever on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Driving the news: The pandemic is accelerating across the U.S., with the Sun Belt being hit particularly hard. Daily coronavirus case records were reported on Wednesday in Texas (8,076), Arizona (4,878), Georgia (2,946), North Carolina (1,843) and Tennessee (1,806).

Updated Jul 15, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Florida is the new domestic epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and it's on track to keep getting worse.

Why it matters: Of the 20 U.S. metro areas with the highest daily case growth, nine are in Florida. The state health department announced 132 new deaths yesterday, the most the state has seen since the pandemic began.

Coronavirus cases flat or growing in 48 states

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed, Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia.

Why it matters: This is a grim reminder that no part of the United States is safe from the virus. If states fail to contain their outbreaks, they could soon face exponential spread and overwhelmed health systems.