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Dara Kass, an emergency medicine physician and professor at Columbia University Medical Center, said at an Axios virtual event Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak in New York should be a lesson to governors and federal leadership that there are ways to effectively flatten the curve from crisis levels.

Why it matters: New York was once the epicenter of the global pandemic, peaking at as many as 11,000 new cases and over 900 deaths per day in April. Today, thanks to a stringent lockdown, the state is consistently reporting fewer than 1,000 cases and 10 deaths per day.

What she's saying: "The interesting part about New York City is that we saw the effects of our work — of social distancing and starting to mask wear even as early as April — take effect pretty dramatically. So we had a massive surge of cases and an unbearable number of patients die, but we also saw the peak come down almost as quickly as it went up," Kass told Axios' Caitlin Owens.

  • "So my first advice is actually not to the hospitals," she continued. "It’s to the governors and leadership of the states and actually to the federal leadership, which is to say, we know what works. And what we really need to do is see it implemented consistently and with regulation and with force. Consistent effort to say, if you’re not wearing a mask, you can’t enter a store."
  • "You can’t have bars opening and gyms opening when you have a positive test rate of over 15-20%. We know that’s what works and unfortunately it comes down to the health care workers on the front lines to deal with the consequences of poor leadership at the federal and state level."

Go deeper

Nov 11, 2020 - Health

U.S. sees record 131,000 COVID-19 infections as hospitalizations hit peak

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. confirmed a record-high 130,989 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday, while the number of people currently hospitalized with the virus hit a peak of 61,964, according to a tally by the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: The spread of the virus is showing no signs of slowing, as the U.S. surpassed 10 million reported cases on Monday. The 15 days with the highest number of new cases have all taken place over the past 18 days.

Nov 11, 2020 - Health

CDC: Masks protect wearers as well as others from coronavirus

Photo: Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

If you wear a mask, you're protecting yourself as well as others from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in an update on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation," per the CDC.

White House urges Iowa to tighten restrictions as COVID-19 surges

Reynolds meets with Trump in May. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Iowa is experiencing an "unyielding COVID spread," illustrated by swelling hospital admissions and ICU data, according to a Nov. 8 White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained by the local ABC News affiliate.

Driving the news: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has repeatedly said that strict rules were unnecessary and ineffective, on Tuesday issued limits on large gatherings and implemented a partial mask mandate for social settings and some businesses.