New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Says Virus Deaths Dropped Below 400 for First Time This Month

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The deaths recorded Saturday and reported Sunday included 349 patients who died in hospitals and 18 individuals who died in nursing homes, the Democratic governor said.

New York’s daily coronavirus death toll dropped to below 400, less than half of the deaths recorded at the height of the coronavirus crisis in the state's hospitals. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the 367 deaths from the coronavirus that he reported Sunday were "horrific," but the number was less than half the nearly 800 deaths that occurred in a single day during the pandemic's peak in New York.

It is the first time this month that the statewide daily death toll has been below 400.

He also reported that the number of hospitalizations, which still topped 1,000, and the number of individuals put on a ventilator had dropped, as well.

The deaths recorded Saturday and reported Sunday included 349 patients who died in hospitals and 18 individuals who died in nursing homes, the Democratic governor said. 

On Saturday, Cuomo said there were 437 deaths on Friday.

"Short-term, the numbers are on the decline." he said. "Everything we’ve done is working. The policies are working. There’s no doubt that at this point, we’ve gone through the worst."

Details on developments in the coronavirus outbreak in New York:

RESTARTING THE STATE

Construction and manufacturing jobs that represent low risks for workers will be among the first to resume once New York state begins reopening after the coronavirus shutdown, the state's governor said Sunday.

Retail jobs and workers in the hospitality and hotel industry may be among the last to return, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his news conference.

And sports such as baseball probably will have to figure out if the economics work without fans in the stands, he said. "Everybody has to think outside the box because there is no box," said Cuomo.

The Democrat said determinations of when reopening begins will follow federal guidance that says reopening should not begin until the state and regional hospitalization rate has declined for two weeks.

He said which businesses reopen after the restart of construction and manufacturing will depend on how essential they are and how safe they can operate.

Once those businesses reopen, a two-week period would follow before more businesses reopen.

"I don’t want to just reopen. We learned a lot of lessons here, painfully,” said Cuomo. “How do we take the lessons we learned and say when we reopen, we’re going to be the better for it? It’s not about a return to yesterday. There is no return to yesterday in life."

The governor compared New York's upstate communities to the Midwest, saying some areas might be ready to reopen sooner than other areas. But he said he had to consider the possibility that residents of areas that are still closed might flood toward any place that opens.

THE SANITY EQUATION

The reopening of New York state will be vital in the summer, particularly in crowded cities, Cuomo said Sunday.

“You can’t tell people in a dense urban environmental all through the summer months: ‘We don’t have anything for you to do, stay in your apartment with the three kids,'" the governor said at his daily news conference.

“You know, that doesn’t work. There’s a sanity equation here also that we have to take into consideration," he said.

Cuomo said people have reason to feel better, saying “the worst should be over” as long as social distancing and other policies remain in place.

“People need to know that there’s an opening, there’s a future, there’s hope, that somebody’s doing something. And then you need a relief valve just on a day-to-day basis so people have some relief in their lives, some vent,” he said. 

Cuomo said trends indicate that the incidence of domestic violence, alcoholism and drug use and mental health issues were on the rise.

“Do not underestimate the stress that this situation has created, the abnormal circumstances that it has created," he said, adding that a toxic mix of bad circumstances was pushing some people to the edge.