Cuomo says 'worst is over' as NY deaths cross 10,000

 

More than 10,000 people have died from COVID-19 in New York, but Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out MTV moves awards show performances outside Overnight Health Care: Trump to take executive action after coronavirus talks collapse | Vaccine official says he'd resign if pressured politically MORE (D) said on Monday that "the worst is over."

During his daily press briefing, Cuomo said the state has controlled the spread of the virus but warned that could change if people let up on social distancing too soon.

"The worst is over ... if we continue to be smart going forward," Cuomo said. "Remember, we have the hand on that valve. You turn that valve too fast, you'll see that number jump right back." 

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Cuomo said he will be making an announcement on a regional "reopening plan" later this afternoon with governors of Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Still, the governor said his state's death toll from the virus has surpassed 10,000 people, which is nearly half of the more than 22,000 deaths nationwide.

Cuomo said the number of daily deaths has begun to hold steady, but are still very high. The state officially recorded 671 deaths on Sunday, which is down from the 758 deaths reported on Saturday.    

"Not as bad as it has been in the past, but basically flat, and basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow," Cuomo said. 

The number of new coronavirus-related hospitalizations is also declining, Cuomo said, a key indicator that the infection curve is flattening. Hospital systems are beginning to get a handle on the numbers, he added. 

But Cuomo sought to temper optimism by noting there are still nearly 2,000 people per day going into a hospital.

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New York state has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. New Jersey is second most-infected state, but its death toll stands at about 2,300 people.

Cuomo said the high level of infection is due to dense environments across the state that allow the virus to spread.

He also said the state is "starting our way back to normalcy," but warned that the crisis would be worse if people stopped trying to mitigate the spread.

"Whatever those numbers say, is a direct result of what we do. If we do something stupid, you will see those numbers go right back up tomorrow," Cuomo warned. 

"The worst can be over, and it is over, unless we do something reckless."

--This report was updated at 12:51 p.m.