The death toll in New York State from COVID-19 is "stabilizing" but at a horrific rate, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday as he announced that 783 more people died from the novel coronavirus in the state in the last 24 hours. In his daily press briefing on Saturday on the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo said that the “good news" is that the infection curve is “continuing to flatten” and the number of hospitalizations appears to have hit a plateau-shaped apex.
He, however, voiced concern that the state continues to record a high number of daily deaths, even though the death toll appears to be stabilizing.
"The terrible news is the number of lives lost - 783 yesterday. That is not an all time high and you can see that the numbers (are) somewhat stabilizing but it is stabilizing at a horrific rate,” Cuomo said.
On April 9, the state recorded 777 deaths and 789 deaths the day before.
“These are just incredible numbers depicting incredible loss and pain.”
A total of 8,627 people have died in the state so far from the virus. New York is the epicenter of the pandemic in the US and now has more coronavirus cases than any single country outside the US.
According to estimates by Johns Hopkins University, the US has 503,594 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18,860 deaths.
Cuomo appeared to disagree with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to close all public schools in the city for the remainder of the academic year.
He said the decision in March to close all schools was made for the entire metropolitan region, which includes Suffolk, Nassau, New York City, Westchester and Rockland areas.
"You can’t make a decision just within New York City without coordinating that decision with the whole metropolitan region because it all works together.
Any decision to reopen the schools would also be a coordinated decision," he said, adding that the Mayor will have an opinion about New York City just as other officials from other counties would have their own opinions about their regions.
"But I want to coordinate all those opinions and re-open the schools at the same time," he said, adding that he would also like to "ideally" coordinate the decisions over re-opening schools with Connecticut and New Jersey.
"I understand the Mayor’s position, which is he wants to close them until June and we may do that but we are going to do that in a coordinated sense with the other localities,” Cuomo said, adding that “there has been no decision” on further closing or reopening of schools.
The Governor pointed out that it “makes no sense” for one locality to take an action that is not coordinated with the others.
Cuomo said de Blasio did not close the schools and “he can’t open them. It happened on a metropolitan-wide basis and we are going to act on a metropolitan basis.