In New York — the state hit hardest by the pandemic — the death toll has reached 4,758, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, though he said the rate of death has been “effectively flat for two days.”
New York has the highest death toll in the U.S. by far. New Jersey has the second highest death toll with 917, said Cuomo.
More than 130,000 people in New York state have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Cuomo said the total number of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and daily intubations are down, which “suggest a possible flattening of the curve.”
While New York may have reached the apex of coronavirus infections, the governor added, what happens next “still depends on what we do.”
If the state is plateauing, it is because social distancing is working so that must continue, said Cuomo.
Also, the state’s health care system “is at maximum capacity today,” according to the governor. “The staff cannot work any harder. And staying at this level is problematic.”
“There’s also a real danger in getting overconfident too quickly. This is an enemy we have underestimated from day one and we have paid the price dearly,” Cuomo said.
Schools and non essential businesses will remain closed until April 29, Cuomo said.
Cuomo lectured those who congregated in New York City’s squares and parks this weekend and said he’s increasing the maximum fine to $1000 for violating the social distancing protocol.
“Now is not the time to be lax. It is a mistake,” the governor said.
“If I can’t convince you to show discipline for yourself,” Cuomo said, then do it for others, like the health care workers “putting their lives on the line.”