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New York state’s daily coronavirus death toll drops below 400 for 1st time in April

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New York’s daily coronavirus death toll dropped to below 400, less than half of the deaths recorded at the height of the coronavirus crisis in the state’s hospitals.

Details on developments in the coronavirus outbreak in New York:

THE NUMBERS

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the 367 deaths from the coronavirus that he reported Sunday were “horrific,” but the number was less than half the nearly 800 deaths that occurred in a single day during the pandemic’s peak in New York.

It is the first time this month that the statewide daily death toll has been below 400.

READ MORE: More New Yorkers exposed to coronavirus than numbers suggest, antibody survey says

He also reported that the number of hospitalizations, which still topped 1,000, and the number of individuals put on a ventilator had dropped as well.

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The deaths recorded Saturday and reported Sunday included 349 patients who died in hospitals and 18 individuals who died in nursing homes, the Democratic governor said.

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Coronavirus outbreak: 367 new deaths due to COVID-19 in New York

On Saturday, Cuomo said there were 437 deaths on Friday.

“Short term, the numbers are on the decline.” Cuomo said. “Everything we’ve done is working. The policies are working. There’s no doubt that at this point, we’ve gone through the worst.”

In another sign of the improving numbers, the final patient on the USNS Comfort was discharged on Sunday. The 1,000-bed hospital ship, docked at a Manhattan pier since March 30, has treated 182 patients. Soon, it will depart for its homeport in Norfolk, Virginia.

READ MORE: Reopening U.S. economy too early will cost lives, New York’s Cuomo warns

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RESTARTING THE STATE

Construction and manufacturing jobs that represent low risks for workers will be among the first to resume once New York state begins reopening after the coronavirus shutdown, the state’s governor said Sunday.

Retail jobs and workers in the hospitality and hotel industry may be among the last to return, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his news conference.

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Coronavirus outbreak: New York to conduct 40,000 COVID-19 tests daily with federal assistance

And sports such as baseball probably will have to figure out if the economics work without fans in the stands, he said.

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“Everybody has to think outside the box because there is no box,” he said.

The Democrat said determinations of when reopening begins will follow federal guidance that says reopening should not begin until the state and regional hospitalization rate has declined for two weeks.

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He said which businesses reopen after the restart of construction and manufacturing will depend on how essential they are and how safe they can operate.

Once those businesses reopen, a two-week period would follow before more businesses reopen.

READ MORE: 2 New York cats test positive for coronavirus, first pets in U.S.

“I don’t want to just reopen. We learned a lot of lessons here, painfully,” he said. “How do we take the lessons we learned and say when we reopen, we’re going to be the better for it? It’s not about a return to yesterday. There is no return to yesterday in life.”

He compared New York’s upstate communities to the Midwest, saying some areas might be ready to reopen sooner than other areas. But he said he had to consider the possibility that residents of areas that are still closed might flood toward any place that opens.

THE SANITY EQUATION

The reopening of New York state will be vital in the summer, particularly in crowded cities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

“You can’t tell people in a dense urban environmental all through the summer months: `We don’t have anything for you to do, stay in your apartment with the three kids,”’ Cuomo said at his daily news conference.

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Coronavirus outbreak: New York to allow independent pharmacies to conduct COVID-19 tests

“You know, that doesn’t work. There’s a sanity equation here also that we have to take into consideration,” he said.

He said people have reason to feel better, saying “the worst should be over” as long as social distancing and other policies remain in place.

READ MORE: Tam says coronavirus measures yielding ‘encouraging results,’ slowing death toll

“People need to know that there’s an opening, there’s a future, there’s hope, that somebody’s doing something. And then you need a relief valve just on a day-to-day basis so people have some relief in their lives, some vent,” he said.

Cuomo said trends indicate that the incidence of domestic violence, alcoholism and drug use and mental health issues were on the rise.

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Coronavirus outbreak: COVID-19 pandemic in New York likely linked to travelers arriving from Europe

“Do not underestimate the stress that this situation has created, the abnormal circumstances that it has created,” he said, adding that a toxic mix of bad circumstances was pushing some people to the edge.

“People need to know that there’s an opening, there’s a future, there’s hope, that somebody’s doing something. And then you need a relief valve just on a day-to-day basis so people have some relief in their lives, some vent,” he said.

READ MORE: Archived: Live updates on coronavirus in Canada

NYC’S ROAD MAP

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday he hopes to have a road map by June 1 on how to rebuild the city after the coronavirus threat subsides.

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The mayor, a Democrat, said at a news conference that city leaders he’s invited to help plan the city’s recovery should give him the roadmap by then. He said a full rebuild will take about 20 months.

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Coronavirus outbreak: New York City mayor outlines four-point COVID-19 plan

He also said the latest statistics on people being treated for COVID-19 continued to be stable or decline.

The number of people in the city’s hospital intensive care units had dropped from 785 to 768. De Blasio said the city can’t begin reopening until decreases continue for 10 to 14 days. He said such a fall would signal it was time for the first steps in opening up.

“The health indicators have to give us the all clear,” de Blasio said. “We restart when we have evidence. There’s no on-off switch here. It’s a series of careful, smart moves.”

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

  • Brad Pitt portrayed Dr. Anthony Fauci in the second at-home episode of Saturday Night Live, where he tried to recast false assurances and misstatements pitched by President Donald Trump during the pandemic, for instance when Trump said there’d be a COVID-19 vaccine “relatively soon.”
Click to play video 'Brad Pitt plays Dr. Fauci and unpacks Trump’s comments on disinfectant, coronavirus in SNL cold open' Brad Pitt plays Dr. Fauci and unpacks Trump’s comments on disinfectant, coronavirus in SNL cold open
Brad Pitt plays Dr. Fauci and unpacks Trump’s comments on disinfectant, coronavirus in SNL cold open
  •  Home care nurses, aides and attendants — who normally help an estimated 12 million Americans with everything from bathing to IV medications — are now taking on the difficult and potentially dangerous task of caring for coronavirus patients.
  • A few states may have found a way to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in nursing homes by converting some of them into “recovery centres” set aside mostly for residents who have left the hospital but still might be contagious or lack immunity.