New York’s Daily Virus Death Toll Drops Slightly to 777

(Bloomberg) --

The number of New York deaths from the coronavirus dropped slightly on Friday to 777, a figure that remains grimly high following three straight days of record fatalities, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Thursday’s record total was 799 deaths. The total death toll in New York has now reached 7,844, he said.

Cuomo said that Friday’s figure shows a high but apparently leveling number of fatalities. He also reported, for the first time, a dramatic drop in the number intensive care admissions.

“We continue to lose a tremendous number of lives and endure great pain as a state,” he told reporters in Albany.

While fatalities remain high, those are generally patients who were diagnosed or admitted to hospitals as long as two weeks ago. But leading indicators illustrating the virus’ spread -- such as hospitalizations, intensive-care admissions and intubations -- all continue to show encouraging signs that the onslaught is beginning to ebb.

Hopeful Signs

Hospitalizations ticked up to 290 on Thursday from 200 the previous day, but remain far below their peak of 1,426 admissions just a week ago. Intensive-care admissions, because of a statistical quirk, were actually a negative number in the data released Friday, as the number of new patients was smaller than those who died or were discharged. And intubations, in which patients are placed on ventilators, ticked up slightly to 109 patients but remained far below the levels of 300-plus patients per day last week.

In all, the state reported a rise in total cases to 170,512, up from 159,937.

Despite what Cuomo called some “hopeful” signs, he said now was not the time to end measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus in New York, the epicenter for the outbreak in the U.S. Schools, government and all but essential businesses remain closed.

“What we do today will determine the infection rate two or three days from today,” he said. “Stay with it even though it is a grind and it is difficult.”

He also said that any efforts to begin re-opening the economy would depend on testing, which he said has been high in New York but needs to be expanded.

“Now is the time to be smart and now more than ever,” he said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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