Cuomo: Daily Deaths Decline In NY As Cases Surpass 122K

WCBS 880 Newsroom
April 05, 2020 - 7:55 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that the number of coronavirus cases in New York state had surpassed 122,000, but he also noted the number of daily hospitalizations and deaths was down, though it was "too early to tell" what that means.

The number of cases is up 8,327 from 113,704 cases on Saturday. More than 300,000 people have been tested, including 132,000 in New York City.

Cuomo said 4,159 people had died from the virus in the state, up from 3,565 on Saturday.

At least 16,479 patients are hospitalized and 4,376 people are in the ICU, but 75 percent of hospitalized patients are being discharged, he said.

He also said “the number of deaths has been dropping for the first time”; the death toll rose by 594 Sunday compared to 630 Saturday.

The governor said the number of hospitalizations has also been on the decline—1,095 were hospitalized Friday compared to 574 Saturday.

He said it's too early to know what those drops mean and that it will take days of declines to confirm there's a downward trend.

Cuomo also said New York state may have already reached the apex of cases, but it will take days of new data to know for sure. He had said he expected the apex in the next week or so. 

“We could either be very near the apex, or the apex could be a plateau and we could be on the plateau right now,” Cuomo said. “You can’t do this day to day. You have to look at three or four days to see a pattern.”

Cuomo sounded cautiously optimistic even as he urged New Yorkers to remain vigilant and continue adhering to the strict social distancing policies in place.

“The coronavirus is truly vicious,” he said. “It’s an effective killer. People who are very vulnerable must stay isolated and protected.”

New Yorkers hunkered down Sunday as the city entered what authorities called a critical phase of the crisis. Those venturing outdoors for groceries or exercise largely heeded the city’s new guidance to wear face coverings such as scarves or bandannas — a sight far less common a week ago.

The governor said the state’s health care system remained over capacity, adding New York is “running short on supplies all across the board.” More than 122,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least 16,000 people remain hospitalized.

“The operational challenge for the health care system is impossible,” Cuomo said. “It’s not an exercise. It’s not a drill. It’s a statement of reality.”

The federal government was deploying 1,000 doctors, nurses and respiratory technicians to New York, including 325 scheduled to begin arriving in New York City as early as Sunday.

The statewide balance of coronavirus cases has been “relatively stable” over the past few days, Cuomo said, but officials were tracking what they called a shift to Long Island. Nassau and Suffolk counties together have more than 26,000 cases.

At a news briefing Sunday evening, President Donald Trump said the federal government would send 600,000 N95 masks to New York City and another 200,000 to Suffolk County.

United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday that the U.S. military “will soon be running the largest hospital in the United States.”

Esper said members of the military are being deployed to 11 hospitals in New York City in addition to their work at the Javits Center.

“What we plan on doing now is to point over 1,100 additional doctors and nurses and other medical professionals to New York. The bulk of them will go to the Javits Center, and then as of late yesterday we agreed to deploy a few hundred of them to 11 New York City hospitals that are also seeing a deficiency when it comes to medical staff,” Esper said.

At Sunday evening's press briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said 840 additional military medical personnel were headed to New York, bringing the total to 3,000.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)