Visualising New York's Covid-19 Lockdowns


Emily Wu

Following the Covid-19 timelines for London and Sydney, we expanded the data visualisation to New York State. Created using d3.js, this interactive visualisation shows New York State's daily new cases and deaths over time, against the approximate level of lockdown restrictions and events detailing the changing situation.

Hover over the line chart to see exact numbers of cases. The hollow dots represent events, such as important decisions and milestones in New York State's coronavirus response. Click on them to see more.

Click on an event above to view information

New York's lockdown is a bit more complex and difficult to quantify into levels than London. The state government started off with the New York State on Pause program, a statewide lockdown. Restrictions then began to ease on a county by county basis, using the newly proposed four-phase reopening plan. Counties could move from phase 1 to phase 4, with each phase having less restrictions than the last, provided they met the necessary metrics for declining hospitalisations and deaths. Restrictions became even more localised following the micro-clustering strategy which would place new restrictions in cluster areas that had spikes in COVID-19 cases.

The New York COVID-19 case data was from the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. There were a few pieces of anomalous data that we found, these pieces of data were replaced using the values found from the New York Times Interactive Covid Map. We looked into the anomalous dates and found that they are likely due to the reasons listed below:

  • June 30th 2020: New York City added a backlog of deaths from unspecified dates.
  • August 20th 2020: New York City removed four previously reported deaths after reviewing records. The state reported four new deaths in other counties.
  • September 19th 2020: The values we found were initially negative so we checked the New York Times Interactive Covid Map and its respective github only to find another negative value. We finally checked the New York State COVID-19 Fatalities by County dataset which yielded a non-negative result.
  • March 24th 2021: After a multiday disruption in reporting data, the New York City health department reported several days’ worth of data, leading to a spike in reported cases and deaths in New York State.

Lockdown level is an indication only, determined by the author based on the lockdown restrictions in New York. Events were collated from multiple sources, including Wikipedia and New York State Governors Pressroom. Examples from d3noob were helpful for creating the visualisation.