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New York's Daily Death Toll For COVID-19 Declines, Slightly

John Minchillo

Governor Andrew Cuomo visited an upstate nursing home and released new numbers on the corona virus Sunday, as the total number of New Yorkers who have died from the virus reached 9,385.

Cuomo says the daily death toll, at 758, has not decreased significantly in several days, when the numbers have ranged from around 780 to a high of 799 for the previous four days.

“It has been flattening, but flattening at a terribly high level,” Cuomo said.

The governor says the good news is that the rate of new hospitalizations is declining, with 53 new COVID-19 hospital patients admitted on Saturday, the lowest since the governor began his daily briefings several weeks ago.

18,707 were sick from the virus and in the hospital on Saturday. 1,862 were discharged from the hospital because their health is improving, but 189 more were in the ICU, and 110 more patients were intubated, or put on ventilators.

Earlier, Cuomo visited Pathways Nursing home in Niskayuna, outside of Schenectady, to, at a safe distance, personally thank staff there who loaned the state 35 spare ventilators to help with the surge in hospitals in New York City.

“Governor Cuomo, God bless you,” staff shouted out the window.

He says the generosity of the nursing home bolstered his morale when he was feeling down about the crisis.

“They gave me an inspiration, and they gave me energy, and they gave me resolve,” Cuomo said. “Listen to our better angels. Be better, more generous more gracious, more loving.”

The state so far has not needed as many ventilators, or hospital beds, as first predicted. The governor says it’s likely due to the stay-at-home orders that have slowed the spread of the virus.

Cuomo says he’s thinking of a timeline for reopening society, when it is safe to do so. On Saturday, he had a dispute with the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, after de Blasio said New York City schools would be shut down for the rest of the school year. Cuomo says it’s too early to make that determination, and he hopes to come up with a unified plan for reopening schools, and businesses, with the neighboring state of New Jersey and Connecticut. But he could not predict when that will be.

“I wouldn’t assume anything,” Cuomo said. “Because if you say schools aren’t going to open, then businesses are not going to open.

The governor says no one can make an informed decision right now, and he points out that all of the expert’s predictions about the path of the virus have so far, not been correct.  

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.

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Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.