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No End in Sight for Shutdown Despite COVID-19 Curve Flattening

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Image: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via Flickr)

April 11, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned New Yorkers to stay the course and to remain cautious as efforts to flatten the spread of COVID-19 appear to be paying off.

The number of hospitalizations and intubations – those who are connected to ventilators – continues to drop, the governor said at a press briefing Saturday.

There were 85 new coronavirus patients admitted into hospital across the state Friday compared to 1,427 admitted on April 2. As of Saturday morning, there were 18,654 coronavirus patients in hospital across New York state.

However, the death rate remains high with 783 fatalities recorded over the past 24 hours – the third-highest one-day number so far – and the total number of New Yorkers dead now stands at 8,627.

“It’s stabilizing. But it’s stabilizing at a horrific rate,” Cuomo said.

“These numbers depict horrendous suffering and human pain,” the governor said.

Total hospitalizations. Graph from Cuomo’s press briefing Saturday. (Image: YouTube)

The flattening of the curve has started the discussion about when the state should reopen. Most are eager for it to reopen as the unemployment rate has skyrocketed. Just over 345,000 New Yorkers filed new claims last week alone.

The governor said that the decision will be taken from both an economic and public health standpoint and insisted that he will not divorce the two in making the call.

“You can’t ask the people of this state or this country to choose between lives lost and dollars gained,” he said.

Cuomo warned that a rushed decision could lead to a resurgence in the virus and urged people to “stay the course” and to continue following social distancing guidelines. The governor also stressed that it is unknown whether a second wave of the virus could hit or if the virus could re-infect people.

The state is putting together a team of scientific experts to evaluate both domestic and international data before coming to a decision, he said.

Cuomo also called for more diagnostic and antibody testing to be carried out.

“This is a time when literally our actions will determine life and death,” he said.

The governor also pushed back on Mayor de Blasio’s decision to keep schools shut until September, saying that decision could not be made without coordinating with the whole metropolitan region.

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