Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York appears to have passed its peak in coronavirus fatalities as the death toll across the state dropped for a second consecutive day.
Cuomo on Sunday announced that 507 people died from COVID-19 on Saturday, down 43 from the day before.
The total number of hospitalizations also continued its steady decline, falling from 16,967 to 16,213 from midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday.
‘If the data holds, and if this trend holds, we are past the high point,’ Cuomo said at a press briefing at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, Long Island.
‘The recent news is good, that we are on the other side of the plateau and the numbers are coming down.
‘But that’s good news only compared to the terrible news that we were living with, which is that constant increase.’
New York has bared the brunt of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 226,000 infections and at least 13,000 deaths to date.
Cuomo cautioned that while emerging daily figures are promising, the fight is far from over.
“‘It’s no time to get cocky and it’s no time to get arrogant,’ he said.
‘We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do. This virus has been ahead of us every step of the way. We still have to make sure that we keep that beast under control.’
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday that New York appears to be ‘on the descent’ as the coronavirus death toll across the state dropped for a second consecutive day
New York recorded 507 new COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, down 43 from the day before
Cuomo credited strict social distancing policies for the decline in new deaths, cases and hospitalizations as he urged residents to stay vigilant in their efforts to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 226,000 New Yorkers and killed at least 13,000 to date
The governor credited strict social distancing policies for the decline in new deaths, cases and hospitalizations as he urged residents to stay vigilant in their efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
‘We showed that we can control the beast and when you close down, you can actually slow that infection rate, but this is only halftime,’ he said.
‘We still have to make sure that we keep that beast under control, we keep that infection rate down, we keep that hospitalization rate down as we all get very eager to get on with life and move on.’
Cuomo said officials are preparing to launch a state-wide antibody testing survey to help determine the true scale of the outbreak before they can begin lifting lockdowns, which will remain in place at least through May 15.
‘Any plan that is going to start to reopen the economy has to be based on data and that means it has to be based on testing,’ Cuomo said.
‘This is a new world for all of us, testing, how do you get testing up to scale, how do you get it up to scale quickly and how do you find out where we really are right now in terms of this virus.
‘You have all of the scientists and all the experts who are basically trying to extrapolate from the data – but we don’t really know how many people were infected, how many people had coronavirus but self-resolved.’
He said the New York state Department of Health is set to roll out the nation’s most aggressive testing survey yet within the next week.
By sampling thousands of people across the state to see if they have antibodies – which means that they had COVID-19 at some point – experts will be able to see a clearer picture of the outbreak that includes individuals who may not have been able to get tested while they were sick.
‘That will tell us for the first time what percent of the population actually has had the coronavirus and is now at least short-term immune to the virus,’ Cuomo explained.
‘This will be the first true snapshot of what we are really dealing with.’
Cuomo said officials are preparing to launch a state-wide antibody testing survey to help determine the true scale of the outbreak before they can begin lifting lockdowns
The governor went on to say that New York and other states will need significant help from the federal government to carry out such extensive testing efforts and the mammoth task of reopening.
He said he spoke to CDC Director Robert Redfield about the process on Saturday and is hopeful that financial support is on the way.
‘I spoke to the head of the CDC yesterday and he was very smart and very informed and we talked about how we can do this together,’ Cuomo said.
‘Talk about being smart, the federal government is talking about passing another piece of legislation which would help in the reopening and they want to help small businesses and that’s great.
‘They also have to help state governments and local governments which have not been supported in the previous legislation.’
Cuomo announced that New York and six other states – New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts – have formed a task force to reopen the economy as soon as the coronavirus threat is considered under control
Cuomo announced that New York and six other states – New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts – have formed a task force to reopen the economy as soon as the coronavirus threat is considered under control.
In a joint press release from all seven governors in the alliance, Cuomo stated: ‘We have been collaborating closely with our neighboring states to combat this pandemic through a uniform approach to social distancing and density reduction and it has been working well.
‘Now it is time to start opening the valve slowly and carefully while watching the infection rate meter so we don’t trigger a second wave of new infections.
‘This is not a light switch that we can just flick on and everything goes back to normal – we have to come up with a smart, consistent strategy to restart the systems we shut down and get people back to work, and to the extent possible we want to do that through a regional approach because we are a regional economy.
‘New York is partnering with these five states to create a multi-state council that will come up with a framework based on science and data to gradually ease the stay at home restrictions and get our economy back up and running.’