New York deaths ‘obnoxiously high’: Governor
The rate of new coronavirus infections across New York remained flat today and hospitalisations fell to their lowest number in a month, but there was also "bad news".
Deaths in the past 24 hours climbed to 299, an "obnoxiously" high number according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The statewide New York death toll is now a staggering 24,368, which is higher than the toll in most countries.
"That number has remained obnoxiously and terrifyingly high," Mr Cuomo said from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's corona maintenance facility in Queens.
Starting this week, subway cars will be disinfected nightly at that location - a critical step toward the Big Apple's eventual reopening.
But as governors across the United States planned to partially reopen their states this weekend, Mr Cuomo said such action would be premature in the New York.
"Use information to determine action - not emotions, not politics, not what people think or feel but what we know in terms of facts," Mr Cuomo said.
Another 831 New Yorkers were admitted to hospitals with coronavirus cases on Friday (local time), the lowest one-day admission number since March 24, he said. But despite the drop, that number remains too high.
"We're still getting about 900 new infections every day walking into the hospital," said Mr Cuomo.
"That is still an unacceptably high rate."
Of those, more are coming to hospitals in Manhattan than in any other borough - 17.3 per cent, followed closely by Brooklyn, which accounts for 16.7 per cent of new daily hospitalisations.
Included in the daily death total were 23 more fatalities in the nursing homes, the Governor said.
More than 10,300 New Yorkers remain in the hospital with COVID-19, with 2923 on ventilators in intensive care.
New diagnoses grew by 4663 on Friday, for a statewide total of 312,977 people having tested positive for the virus.
Mr Cuomo also announced more results of the antibody testing program state health officials began on April 22 - the largest of its kind in the US.
As of last week, more than 15,000 people have been screened statewide, and 12.3 per cent had been found to have the antibodies that signal a previous COVID-19 infection.
In New York City, the percentage of those positive for antibodies stood at about 20 per cent on Saturday.
The Bronx has been hit hardest of any borough. Residents there account for 28 per cent of all city residents testing positive for antibodies.
State workers will distribute seven million face masks, starting now, to high-risk communities, including NYCHA complexes and nursing homes.
The state will also distribute $US25 million to food banks across the state, with $US11 million going to New York City, he said.
The number of new infections continued to rise across the US as more and more states relaxed stay-at-home orders and Americans went shopping, out to eat or to parks.
Nationwide, 1.1 million people have tested positive for the virus and 66,045 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's database.
In Washington, crowds flocked to the National Mall to watch a flyover by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds in honour of essential workers. Not everyone was wearing a mask.
In Georgia, where the stay-at-home order was lifted for most residents on Friday, the number of confirmed cases climbed for two days, topping off at 28,306 on Saturday afternoon with 1,174 deaths, according to the state's health department.
A trio of counties in the southwestern part of the state have some of the highest per capita rates of infection in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The small New Mexico city of Gallup was nearly completely locked down this weekend after 1000 of its 22,000 residents tested positive for COVID-19.
In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves was to proceed with his plan to get people back to work, but announced a change of plans on Friday as 397 new coronavirus cases were confirmed and 20 more people died.
Worldwide, more than 3.4 million have tested positive for the virus and 242,000 have died.
This article originally appeared in The New York Post and has been republished with permission.
Originally published as New York deaths 'obnoxiously high'