New York experienced its largest single day death toll from the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Hochul gets early boost as NY gubernatorial race takes shape EMILY's List announces early endorsement of Hochul MORE (D) said Wednesday, hitting a new record of 779.
Cuomo said the number of deaths will continue to increase, even as hospitalizations fall because fatalities are a "lagging indicator" of the outbreak. That means people who have been hospitalized for a long time are starting to die, while fewer new people are being admitted.
"Every number is a face. Every number is a family," Cuomo said during his daily media briefing.
Still, he said social distancing measures are working, and the infection curve is flattening.
Cuomo credited an increase in hospital capacity, as well as the sharing of equipment among "different partners in the health system.
"There is no doubt that we are now bending the curve, and there is no doubt that we can't stop doing what we are doing" Cuomo said, adding if the hospitalization rate continues to decrease, the state's hospital system "should stabilize over these next couple weeks."
Cuomo cautioned that the positive news doesn't mean that mitigation measures should stop.
"It is not a time to get complacent," Cuomo said. "We are not out of the woods, and do not misread what is on the charts. It is a pure product of our actions and behavior."
Cuomo said 6,268 New Yorkers have died from coronavirus. To put it into perspective, he noted, 2,753 died at the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Cuomo also reiterated that earlier this week, he doubled the fine for people who disobey the state's social distancing order to $1,000.