New York coronavirus hospitalizations fall to March levels, Cuomo says

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shows a face mask at a daily briefing at North Shore University Hospital, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhasset, New York, U.S., May 6, 2020.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that the number of new daily Covid-19 hospitalizations had returned to the level it was at when he issued a statewide closure of nonessential businesses nearly two months ago. 

Cuomo said that 521 people were hospitalized with the disease on Saturday and 207 died of it. The hospitalization figure, he said, “takes us right back to where we started this hellish journey.”

“Where we are today is basically, with the number of new cases, is basically right where we were when we started. It has been a painful period of time between March 20 to May 9,” Cuomo said. 

Death figures have lagged those tracking hospitalizations. Cuomo said that 207 fatalities “takes us back to almost where we started, about a week in, as the number of deaths started to increase.”

“Still terribly high, but better,” Cuomo said. 

Cuomo signed a “‘New York State on PAUSE” executive order on March 20 that closed nonessential businesses and ordered residents to adopt social distancing measures.

The number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths surged in the weeks that followed but have since started to decline. 

“All of this work, all of this progress of turning that tide, of reducing the rate of infection, that’s all thanks to New Yorkers and what New Yorkers did,” Cuomo said. 

The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in New York on March 20 was 7,102. More than 330,000 in the state, the hardest hit in the country, have since tested positive, according to a tracker maintained by state health authorities. More than 20,000 have died. 

Cuomo said Sunday that the state is looking to open its economy back up on a regional basis. 

“We are looking region to region across the state as to where it would be appropriate to reopen,” he said. 

The March 20 stay-at-home order is due to expire next Friday, though Cuomo recently signed an executive order enabling him to push back the deadline

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