NEW YORK – At least an additional 777 lives in New York have been lost over the past 24 hours due to the new coronavirus, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted a downward trend in hospitalizations was a significantly positive sign.
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CITY DEATH COUNT PASSES 5,000
Citywide, as of 5 p.m. Friday, there were 94,409 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 5,429 deaths, and 25,920 hospitalizations.
The state reported 5,820 deaths in New York City as of 11:30 a.m. (The city uses different methods to tabulate its count).
The city’s coronavirus death count Thursday was 4,778. The city has reported 4,333 deaths in April — more than double the entire total up until that point, although there are concerns the death count is actually higher.
The borough-by-borough breakdown of confirmed cases, with some fluctuation in the numbers:
- Queens: 29,754 confirmed cases
- Brooklyn: 24,846
- The Bronx: 20,543
- Manhattan: 12,201
- Staten Island: 7,027
Cuomo reported New York state has seen, as of midnight Thursday, 170,512 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,844 deaths.
A week ago, New York City's confirmed case total was 56,289. A week before that: 26,697.
A week ago, New York City's confirmed coronavirus death count was 1,867. A week before that: 450.
NEW YORK SEES NET NEGATIVE CHANGE IN ICU ADMISSIONS
Speaking to reporters Friday in Albany at his daily coronavirus press briefing, Cuomo said, for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, the change in ICU admissions was negative, meaning there were fewer of those severely ill patients than there were previously.
"What we do today will determine the infection rate two or three days from now," Cuomo said, urging New Yorkers to stay the course with social distancing.
Cuomo reiterated that the worst-case scenario on hospitalizations was unlikely to play out. The governor once said as many 140,000 hospital beds could be needed; new estimates put that number closer to 20,000.
Cuomo was asked if he believed his estimates being so far off might erode his credibility.
“Because I relied on experts who were making a projection? No,” the governor said. “I think my credibility would be affected if I didn’t ask experts for their opinion and then do everything I can to meet those numbers that they produced.”
On why New York's actual curve is lower than initial projections, the governor pointed out they were all based on estimations. He also said it was dependent on two main variables: What policies were put in place, and how well people complied with the policies.
Cuomo says testing is the next challenge the state faces in keeping numbers on a downward trend and addressing case number flareups.
"The key to reopening is going to be testing,” said Cuomo, adding that it won’t be like a light switch where everyone goes back on a certain day.
“It’s going to be a gradual, phased process," he added.
The governor says he wants to see that involve testing of antibodies, diagnostic results, and testing on a greater scale, although State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker acknowledged earlier this week that there was no proof those who’ve had COVID-19 can’t get reinfected.
Cuomo says the state will join New Jersey and Connecticut to create a testing coalition. He is also calling on the federal government for support through the Defense Production Act.
Cuomo said he was speaking with congressional leaders about establishing a fund for frontline workers, much like what was done for first responders after 9/11.
“We think the federal government should set up a heroes' compensation fund to compensate our health care and other frontline workers for what they did here,” he said. “Saying thanks is nice. Actually providing assistance is even better.“
The governor also announced that the state of New York will expand food assistance. The state will spend $200 million, which should help 700,000 households that have seen their needs grow since the crisis began.
This story includes reporting from Zack Fink.
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