ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — With 606 COVID-19 deaths throughout the state in the past 24 hours, New York has now lost 12,174 lives from this virus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at Thursday’s daily briefing.
Also announced at Thursday’s briefing, NY PAUSE, which closed schools and non-essential businesses statewide, is extended through May 15.
“One month we’ll continue to close down policies, what happens after then? I don’t know, we will see depending on what the data shows,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Statewide, New York had 213,779 confirmed cases at last count Thursday morning.
The governor said that hospitalizations from the virus statewide was about 17,000, down from 18,000 at last official count. The governor said ICU admissions were also down significantly throughout the state. Despite these positive trends, the governor insists we are not out of the woods.
“The bad news is that 2,000 people walked into the hospital for the first time yesterday for the disease and the worst news is 600 people died yesterday from the disease,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor says people continue to ask two questions: When does this end, and how to we restart normal life. On the first question, the governor say it won’t truly be over until there is a vaccine. On restarting the economy, the governor says we need to take a cautioned approach.
“You stopped everything, how do you now restart that machine in a coordinated way that doesn’t drive up the infection?” Gov. Cuomo said. “That’s the balance we’re trying to strike.”
“The private sector now has to think about what they do, how they do it, and how they can do it different in this new normal; re-imagine your workplace,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Wednesday, the governor announced he would be issuing an executive order that will require all New Yorkers to have masks or mouth/nose covering while in public when social distancing is not possible. The governor says he will allow a three-day notice for residents to prepare to comply, and this order will go into effect Friday.
Thursday the governor emphasized the importance of complying with mask policies for public safety purposes.
“As relatively simple and possibly annoying as it seems, wearing a mask is one of the best things that we can do,” Gov. Cuomo said. “And I understand, I’m getting a lot of not-happy phone calls off what I said yesterday about wearing a mask in public, but I’m sorry if it makes people unhappy, I do not consider it a major burden and it really is a simple measure that can save lives.”
“Any situation in public where you can’t maintain six feet of social distancing, you must wear a mask,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor says at this time there will be no penalties for those who don’t comply, but it remains a possibility if people don’t follow the rules.
Despite the increase in deaths, the governor says that hospitalization trends show the curve of the virus’ spread is flattening. That said, the governor said that we are not out of the woods.
At last official count Wednesday, there were 57 COVID-19 deaths and 883 confirmed cases in Monroe County.
A Johns Hopkins University professor and her graduate student have created an interactive map to capture all confirmed COVID-19 cases, fatalities and recoveries.