Coronavirus deaths are starting to level off in New York state at close to 800 per day with the total number of fatalities reaching 10,834 on Monday, a staggering number that nonetheless shows that shuttering nonessential businesses and keeping New Yorkers home is helping to curb the Covid-19 outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
"That is to me the most painful number and it has been the most painful number every day," Cuomo said during a press conference in Albany on Tuesday. "Those New Yorkers are in our thoughts and prayers. If you look at the past few days of the number of lives lost, it's basically flat at a devastating level of pain and grief."
Fatalities jumped from 671 on Sunday to 778 on Monday, the third-highest number of deaths since the pandemic started. But Cuomo said deaths appear to be slowing, demonstrating that we can actually control the spread of the virus. "Thank God we can control the spread."
Cuomo said the number of deaths in nursing homes has been an "increasing issue," with 133 deaths in elder-care facilities on Monday.
"You can not hermetically seal a nursing home. You can't put it in a bubble and say I can protect these vulnerable people. You can't," Cuomo said.
"That is the vulnerable population in the vulnerable place. We've been worried about nursing homes since day one," he added. "The percentage of loss of life is getting higher in the nursing home compared to the hospitals."
New York state has confirmed almost 200,000 Covid-19 cases so far — more than any country outside the United States, but the outbreak has shown signs of peaking in recent days.
Earlier in the day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will purchase 100,000 coronavirus test kits per week from a mix of local contractors and a Carmel, Indiana-based company as the city works to identify more Covid-19 cases.
"For the first time, we're going to have a truly reliable major supply of testing," de Blasio said at a press conference. "The number one issue from day one has been testing."