The governor said it was his personal opinion that rapid testing is key to restoring normalcy
The federal government is deploying about 1,000 health workers – doctors, nurses and respiratory technicians and therapists – to New York, with about 325 going to New York City Public Hospitals
State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said he had a conference call with rabbis in Rockland County in regard to adhering to health protocols
Number of deaths in the state rose from 3,565 to 4,159
Westchester had 642 new COVID-19 cases bringing its total to 13,723
122,031 state residents have tested positive
16,479 are hospitalized
4,376 are ICU patients
12,187 patients have been discharged so far
74% of those who have been hospitalized have been discharged
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today raised the possibility that New York state is on a plateau at the apex of the COVID-19 outbreak. While making it plain that statisticians are unable to give him a definitive answer, he did say that some leveling off in numbers forming a three-day rolling average depicting various aspects of the outbreak’s progression may indicate that the top is near or has been reached. On past days, he had said the apex was one, two or three weeks off.
“All the (statistical) models say you go up until you go down … then there’s a difference of – is the apex a point or is the apex a plateau. In other words, do you go up, hit the high and then immediately drop or do you go up and then there’s a plateau where the number of cases stays high for a period of time and then drops,” Cuomo said.
“By the data, we could be either very near the apex or the apex could be a plateau and we could be on the plateau right now,” he said.
Cuomo said this morning that 4,159 people in New York state have died from COVID-19, up from yesterday’s total of 3,565.
The state had 122,031 cases detected through testing with 13,723 reported in Westchester. There were 5,326 cases in Rockland, 3,102 in Orange and 1,077 in Dutchess. New York City had 67,551 cases identified.
In Westchester, a total of 43,955 people have been tested for the virus with 302,280 total tests conducted statewide. Of the total tests, 122,031 were positive for presence of the virus, or about 40.3%. Rockland has had 12,112 tests, Orange 8,989 and Dutchess 4,106. There have been 132,466 tests administered in New York City.
Cuomo reported there are 16,479 people in hospitals with cases of COVID-19 and 4,376 are in intensive care units. He reported that so far 12,187 of the patients going into hospitals since the outbreak hit New York have been discharged.
State Health Department statistics showed that people in Westchester are least likely to test positive for COVID-19 among those New York state residents living in the New York City area who have been tested for the disease. In Westchester, 30.9% of tests showed positive results, compared with 43.4% for Rockland, 51.4% for the Bronx, 40.9% for Manhattan, 45.5% for Staten Island, 52.1% for Brooklyn, 50.8% for Queens, 45% for Nassau and 42.9% for Suffolk.
With respect to a complaint by Rockland County Executive Ed Day that Cuomo should have established a containment zone in the county as he did for New Rochelle, Cuomo said that state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had spoken with leaders of the Hasidic Jewish community in Monsey.
“I explained the need to abide by the six-foot distance and also the issues of social distance and stay at home and to reiterate all the points the governor has made in the course of all these press conferences,” Zucker said.
Cuomo’s secretary Melissa DeRosa said she has talked with Rockland County officials and explained to them that existing laws and regulations put into effect during the crisis gives the county teeth to take enforce actions as necessary to keep people safe.
Cuomo said if people are starting to suffer from cabin fever as a result of the isolation that has been necessary to try to stop the rapid spread of the virus it’s understandable.
“It’s a feeling of isolation. It’s often accompanied by radical mood swings, resentment of people around you to varying degrees for no reason whatsoever,” Cuomo said. “There’s an upwelling of resentment, especially toward people who are in apparent positions of authority.”
Cuomo said cabin fever can be fought by getting out of the house and exercising while observing 6-foot separation and other social distancing practices.
Cuomo said that one can already begin to see how the COVID-19 story will end.
“They will have a vaccine in 12 months or 14 months or 18 months. There are a number of treatments that are being expedited and are being tested right now. Dr. Zucker in New York is working expeditiously and cooperatively with the FDA to try all the new different treatments: the convalescent plasma; receptor antibody treatment we’re working on; the hydroxychloroquine we’re working on aggressively. So we’re trying all these new treatments. Some of them show real promise but you can see where the story ends.
“I see a return to normalcy when we have an approved rapid-testing program that can be brought to scale,” Cuomo said, emphasizing that he was expressing his opinion. “When you get to the point where you can do rapid-testing of scale and people can start to go back to work because they know they’re negative and you can continue to protect the vulnerable population…that is going to be the answer.”
Staff writer Bob Rozycki contributed to this report.