New York sees largest increase in COVID-19 deaths since pandemic began

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily coronavirus briefing

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - New York state had its largest increase in deaths so far in the coronavirus pandemic.

At his daily coronavirus briefing late Tuesday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said deaths increased by 731 on Monday, for a total of 5,489.

“That is the largest single-day increase,” he said. “We talk about numbers, but that’s 731 people who we lost. Behind those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother -- so a lot of pain again today.”

The death toll increase had been relatively flat for a few days.

Deaths increased by 562 on Thursday, 630 on Friday, 594 on Saturday, and 599 on Sunday.

The state still leads the nation in the number of cases and the number of deaths.

New York has nearly 139,000 confirmed cases. New Jersey has 41,000 cases and a little more than 1,000 deaths.

After that is Michigan with 17,000 cases and more than 700 deaths. California follows with 16,000 and almost 400 deaths.

Despite the increase in deaths, Cuomo said the number of hospitalizations appears to be flattening, which proves that social distance is working.

He said the three-day average hospitalization rate is down and daily intensive care admissions are down.

“Our behavior affects the number of cases,” he said.

“I know it’s been a frustrating 37 days, but it has been only 37 days,” he said, urging New Yorkers to stay the course and maintain social distancing.

Cuomo said the state has identified 90,000 hospital beds for coronavirus patients, which he says should be enough, according to current projections.

“Staffing has been a problem,” he said, because health care personnel get sick, fatigued, or overstressed.

He noted that about 7,000 new staff have been hired from the pool of volunteers who have come forward.

In terms of equipment, he said, “every hospital has what it needs to date.”

Cuomo said patients, staff, and equipment are constantly being juggled among downstate hospitals, “so no single hospital or hospital system gets overburdened.”

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