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COVID-19 outbreak in New York state shows initial signs of peaking, slowing

By Adam Rombel (arombel@cnybj.com)

Date:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update during a news conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol in Albany. (Photo credit: Mike Groll/ Office of Governor, via his Flickr page)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State reported a substantial drop in new COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations on Sunday, in a sign that the disease outbreak may be peaking and beginning to slow in the state.

New York had 8,327 new coronavirus cases Sunday, down from the 10,841 new cases reported the day before, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The daily percentage increase in COVID-19 positives fell to 7.3 percent from 10.5 percent. New York now has 122,031 total coronavirus cases.

The state reported 594 new COVID-19 deaths Sunday, down from Saturday’s 630 deaths. It was the first daily drop in deaths since the coronavirus crisis in New York started. A total of 4,159 people have died from the disease to date in this state.

The number of new hospitalizations in New York fell sharply to 574 Sunday from 1,095 the day before. New intensive-care unit admissions and new intubations also declined.

And, the hospitalization discharge rate was “way up,” Cuomo said at his daily COVID-19 briefing on Sunday. In all, 74 percent of those hospitalized with the disease in New York have been discharged so far. That’s up from the 67 percent discharge rate he reported on Saturday.

“By the data, we could be very near the apex or the apex could be a plateau and we could be on that plateau right now,” the governor said about the improved numbers.

He said data from the coming days will be needed to confirm whether this is a real turn in the progression of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Empire State or if it’s just an aberration.

“Next week, they’ll tell you after a few days whether this was a plateau or a blip,” Cuomo said of the medical data experts modeling the COVID-19 curve.

In other news at his briefing, Cuomo said the state has thus far not taken any ventilators from upstate hospitals to be deployed downstate, where the crisis has hit hardest.

The governor on Friday said he would issue an executive order, mandating hospitals across New York state to turn over 20 percent of their spare ventilators and personal protection equipment (PPE) like masks, gloves, and gowns to help New York City–area facilities facing a surge of COVID-19 patients. He had said he would deploy the National Guard to pick up and transport the ventilators and PPE across the state.

As of Sunday, Cuomo still had not issued that executive order. He indicated he was planning to add more items to the order.