Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that deaths from the coronavirus have dropped for the first time in New York, but said the state’s health care system is still under extraordinary pressure.
The state had 594 deaths over the last 24 hours, down from 630 in the previous 24-hour period. But Cuomo warned the drop could just be a “blip.” A total of 4,159 New Yorkers have now died of SARS-CoV-2 out of 122,031 confirmed cases, said Cuomo, who said “the coronavirus is truly vicious and effective.”
“It’s an effective killer,” he said.
Still, the governor suggested that New York might be hitting the virus’s peak, which could mean a leveling off.
“The apex could be a plateau and we could be on that plateau now,” he said, adding the trajectory would become more clear in the coming days.
In another bit of good news, the number of new hospitalizations dropped by nearly half on Sunday to a level not seen in more than a week. A total of 574 new hospitalizations were reported Sunday, compared to 1,095 on Saturday. The Sunday number was just more than a third of admissions for the virus from Friday, when 1,427 were hospitalized.
The last time fewer than 600 people were hospitalized was March 22.
“That’s partially a function of more people being discharged,” Cuomo said. “And that’s great news.” Cuomo said 74% of those hospitalized have been discharged.
The governor also said hospitals need to come together and work as a single network, establishing a “rolling deployment” of medical resources around the country.
“This is war time,” he says. “This is a war.”
At his daily briefing, Cuomo also said it’s time for “the family of New York to come together.”
“We talk about the family of New York, right?” the governor said. “I must have said that one million times: family of New York. What does family of New York mean? Mutuality, cooperation, sharing benefits and burdens. This is the time the family needs to come together, not just out of spirit and love, but out of necessity. You cannot handle this without your brothers and sisters. You can’t.”
Cuomo also announced the federal government “is deploying approximately 1,000 personnel to New York State, including doctors, nurses, respiratory technicians and therapists, to help the state’s overwhelmed hospital systems. The first 325 personnel will be deployed to the New York City hospital system today,” his office said in a statement.
And the governor was asked about President Trump’s hope that the NFL could open on time in September.
“I would love to see sports back,” Cuomo said. “It would help with cabin fever. But this is not about hopes and dreams and aspirations and what you would like to see. None of us like being here. Follow the data, follow the science. Let the doctors and health-care professionals tell you when it’s safe to reopen and that’s when you reopen.”
Cuomo said in order for sports to return, officials should “Follow the data. Follow the science. Let the … health-care professionals tell you when it’s safe to re-open, and that’s when you re-open.”