Cuomo reports another 731 coronavirus deaths in NY, its largest one-day increase

 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo calls Brooklyn clashes 'disturbing,' asks attorney general to review Overnight Health Care: Trump says US 'terminating' relationship with WHO | Cuomo: NYC on track to start reopening week of June 8 | COVID-19 workplace complaints surge 10 things to know today about coronavirus MORE (D) said 731 people died from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, a sobering statistic that comes even as other indicators suggest the outbreak is slowing. 

Cuomo noted during his daily press briefing that the number of deaths is a “lagging indicator” of the outbreak. He also said that the three-day average of new hospitalizations is falling. 

Intubations and intensive care unit admissions are also down, he said. 

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However, the governor cautioned that the state is still in the throes of the epidemic, and social distancing measures are key to slowing the outbreak in the state.

“This is not an act of God we’re looking at. It’s an act of what society actually does,” Cuomo said.

New York continues to be the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., with 139,000 confirmed cases including 5,489 deaths, Cuomo said. 

The daily death tally increased Tuesday after dipping for two days.

COVID-19 deaths, while tragic, aren’t a sign the outbreak is worsening because those infections were likely contracted weeks ago.

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Cuomo has expressed hope in recent days that the outbreak is ebbing, and he said Tuesday that officials are starting to consider how to restart the state's economy. 

At the same time, he stressed it is still too soon to get back to "normal." 

"We have to start planning restarting life. We're not there yet. This is not a light switch we can just flip one day and everything goes back to normal," he said. 

Restarting the economy and getting people back to work requires widespread antibody testing, he said. Such tests would determine who has had the virus and could potentially be immune to it. 

The state has approved an antibody test and is working with the Food & Drug Administration to bring it to scale for widespread testing. 

Updated at 12:30 p.m.