- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during a press briefing from Albany on Sunday that the state’s death toll dropped for the first time: 594 deaths on Saturday compared to 630 on Friday.
- “What is the significance of that?” he asked. “It’s too early to tell.”
- New hospitalizations are also down from 1,095 on Friday to 574 on Saturday, which could amount to an “interesting blip” or the “hopeful beginning of a shift in the data,” Cuomo said.
- With 122,000-plus cases and 4,159 deaths, New York is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
- The only way to deal with this “effective killer,” Cuomo said, is to “balance the patient load” and share medical resources across the state’s network of hospitals.
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The number of coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations in New York has dipped for the first time in the last 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press briefing on Sunday, but it’s too soon to know what that means.
“What is the significance of that?” he asked. “It’s too early to tell.”
“The worst news,” Cuomo said, was that the death toll climbed from 3,565 on Saturday to 4,159 — an increase of 594 deaths in one day. That’s a step in the right direction, though, since it marks a decrease from Friday’s 630 deaths — the highest single-day death toll since COVID-19 first hit New York.
“The coronavirus is truly vicious and effective at what the virus does: It’s an effective killer,” he told reporters in Albany.
New hospitalizations are also down from 1,095 on Friday to 574 on Saturday. That, Cuomo said, could mean an “interesting blip” or the “hopeful beginning of a shift in the data.”
Between Saturday and Friday, daily ICU admissions fell from 395 to 250, and intubations reduced from 351 to 316, Cuomo reported.
However, the “great news” is that the number of people discharged from hospitals experienced a welcomed bump: 1,502 on Friday to 1,709 on Saturday, Cuomo said.
The governor said on Saturday that he expects the COVID-19 outbreak in New York to peak within a “seven-day” range, but adjusted that prediction on Sunday. It remains unclear whether the “apex” represents a point on the curve of infections or a plateau, he said, which makes it hard to tell if New York is nearing the worst or has already reached that stage in its outbreak. Things will become clear in the coming days, he added.
Another update from Cuomo involved hospital beds.
The gover has said previously that New York has 50,000 hospital beds, but could need 110,000 when the outbreak peaks. But, on Sunday, he said, “The number of beds doesn’t really matter anymore. We have the beds, it’s the ventilators and then it’s the staff. That’s the problem.”
Even so, the additional 2,500 beds at the newly christened New York Medical Station will act as a major “relief valve” for Covid-19 patients, Cuomo said, adding that “this is war time.”
Acknowledging that hospitals typically have 60- or 90-day supplies on hand, but are currently operating within margins that have shrunk to two or three days, Cuomo urged a “rolling deployment” of medical resources that’s meant to “balance the patient load” among all available hospitals.
It’s evident, he said, that no community in New York can handle the virus by itself so officials are surging and flexing the capacity, staff, and resources of the entire healthcare system.
This is a daily exercise, Cuomo said, and it’s “really difficult,” but it’s the only way an already overburdened medical system can “do more than it has ever done before, more than it was designed to do — with less.”
This wisdom needs to be applied nationwide, he said, because experts anticipate New York to be just the first hotspot of many.
And what will help the United States return to normalcy will be rapid testing when deployed at scale.
“It is under development now, the rapid testing, and we are part of it,” he said. “That is going to be the answer, I believe. And we get through it because we are New York State tough.”