NEW YORK – After weeks on a warlike footing and suffering thousands of deaths, New York’s governor said Monday that the state appears to be on the “descent” from its apex of coronavirus cases.
New York is approaching a quarter-of-a-million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 14,000 deaths. What was anticipated to be a mountain-shaped peak on the statistical curve has been more of a plateau, but at a very high level for an extended period.
“The question now is, assuming we are off the plateau and we are seeing a descent — which the numbers would suggest we are seeing a descent — the question is now, how long is the descent and how steep is the descent?” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “And nobody knows — just the way nobody knew how long the ascent was.”
New York is the hardest hit state in the United States. It has been 51 days since its first diagnosed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The governor said indicators including persons being hospitalized with the virus and those being put on ventilators continue to come down, albeit very slowly. The state’s emergency rooms are still over capacity, but not in the way they were just days ago. But he quickly cautioned that New York is not yet out of danger and that although deaths have dropped, they remain “horrifically high” – 478 on Sunday.
“This is cause and effect on steroids,” Governor Cuomo told reporters at his daily briefing in the state capital, Albany. “What we do today will determine tomorrow: We make smart decisions, you will smart outcomes in two weeks; we make bad decisions, you will see bad outcomes in two weeks.”
Non-essential business closures and social distancing continue to remain in effect statewide until at least May 15.
The governor has repeatedly said that testing will be a crucial element in helping the state restart its economy.
“We are starting the largest antibody test ever done today in New York,” the governor said. He said about 2,000 people statewide would be randomly tested to see if they have contracted the virus and developed antibodies to it.
New York is also participating in a drug trial of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine at about 20 hospitals. The governor said the state is sending its results Monday to the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are overseeing the study.