ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — With 630 new COVID-19 deaths statewide, New York’s total death toll is now 12,804 to date, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced during Friday’s daily briefing. There are also now more than 220,000 confirmed cases throughout the state.
The governor also announced the trend of lower hospitalizations continues.
“Net change in hospitalizations is undeniably on the decline,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Still, the governor said even though hospitalization rates show improvement, it’s no time to give up on social distancing while approximately 2,000 New Yorkers each day get diagnosed with COVID-19.
“Yes fewer people in the hospital, but still 2,000 walking through the [hospital] door, and if you’ve noticed it has hovered about the same rate for several weeks,” Gov. Cuomo said.
Even still, the governor acknowledges that the state has to begin planning for a return to normalcy.
“You can’t keep the economy closed forever, so we’re now moving into another phase, which is this reopening phase,” Gov. Cuomo said. “How do you plan a reopening? Nobody has ever done this before, and how do you that by being cognizant of the crisis?”
Although reopening is on hold for now, the governor says stats say the spread of the virus is slowing.
“The infection rate is less than one-to-one, so you can see the outbreak starting to subside,” Gov. Cuomo said.
The governor’s masking mandate, requiring all New Yorkers who leave home and can’t maintain social distance to wear a mask or face covering, also goes into effect on Friday. Cuomo made that announcement on Wednesday and said as of now, there is no punishment for anyone without a mask or face covering. The rule says anyone in public must wear a covering if social distancing of six feet is not possible.
In an announcement he made on Thursday, Cuomo extended NY PAUSE, which keeps schools and non-essential businesses statewide closed 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.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we update this developing story.