Cuomo says NY coronavirus deaths down but ‘happy days are not here again’

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced 540 more coronavirus deaths across New York in the past 24 hours — down 110 fatalities from a day earlier, and the lowest tally since April 1.

But as other states push to reopen sooner rather than later, Cuomo said New York — the epicenter of COVID-19 — has no cause to celebrate.

“Happy days are not here again,” the governor said at his daily press briefing in Albany. “That is still an overwhelming number every day.”

The tally included 36 more people who died in hard-hit nursing homes, which have been hard-hit by COVID-19.

“It is the feeding frenzy for this virus,” he said.

At least 7,090 new cases were reported in the last day, for a statewide total of 236,732.

There were 2,000 new hospitalizations on Friday, bringing that number to around the same level as in March, he said.

“We’re not at a plateau anymore, but we’re not at a good position,” said Cuomo.

Intubations were down by 48 patients, but there are still 4,246 patients hooked up to ventilators in New York hospitals, he said.

“Intubations are down which is very good news,” he said.

Roughly 80 percent of patients who are intubated or hooked up to a ventilator do not survive, he said.

The infection rate is declining, but reopening the state too quickly could have disastrous consequences, the governor warned.

“Everybody wants to reopen,” Cuomo said. “The tension on reopening is: How fast can you reopen and what can you reopen without raising that infection rate?”

Over 23,000 more people were tested for the bug in the past day, bringing that number to 596,532.

The key to reopening is testing on a massive scale, he said.

“The trick with testing is not that we don’t know how to do it … it’s bringing this up to scale,” Cuomo said.

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