The rate of new coronavirus infections across New York remained flat, and hospitalizations fell to their lowest number in a month, but there was also “bad news” Saturday — deaths in the past 24 hours climbed to 299, “an obnoxiously” high number, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.
It was the second day in a row that the single-day deaths fell below 300, but Friday’s tally was 10 more than the day before, adding to a staggering statewide total of 18,909.
“That number has remained obnoxiously and terrifyingly high,” Cuomo said from the MTA’s Corona Maintenance Facility in Queens, where beginning this week, subway cars will be disinfected nightly — a critical step toward the Big Apple’s eventual reopening.
But as governors across the country plan to partially reopen their states this weekend, Cuomo said such action was premature in the New York, the hardest hit in the union.
“Use information to determine action — not emotions, not politics, not what people think or feel but what we know in terms of facts,” Cuomo said.
Another 831 New Yorkers were admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 cases on Friday, the lowest one-day admission number since March 24, Cuomo said.
“We’re still getting about 900 new infections every day walking into the hospital,” he said.
“That is still an unacceptably high rate.”
Of those, more are coming to hospitals in Manhattan than in any other borough — 17.3 percent, followed closely by Brooklyn, which accounts for 16.7 percent of new daily hospitalizations. 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 2,923 on ventilators in intensive care.
New COVID-19 diagnoses grew by 4,663 on Friday, for a statewide total of 312,977 people having tested positive for the virus.
Cuomo also announced more results of the antibody testing program state health officials began on April 22 — the largest of its kind in the country.
As of last week, more than 15,000 people have been screened statewide, and 12.3 percent have been found to have the antibodies that signal a previous COVID-19 infection.
More men, 13.1 percent, than women, 11.5 percent, tested positive for the antibodies, the governor said.
In New York City, the percentage of those positive for antibodies stood at about 20 percent on Saturday.
The Bronx has been hit hardest of any borough; residents there account for 28 percent of all city residents testing positive for antibodies.
A total of 166,883 city residents have tested positive for the virus as of Saturday; 18,282 have died in the five boroughs.
State workers will distribute 7 million face masks beginning Saturday to high-risk communities, including NYCHA complexes and nursing homes.
The state will also distribute $25 million to food banks across the state, with $11 million going to New York City, he said.
The number of new COVID-19 infections continued to rise across the country 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, DC, crowds flocked to the National Mall to watch a flyover by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds in honor 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 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 1,000 of its 22,000 residents tested positive for COVID-19.
In Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves was to proceed with his plan to get people back to work, but announced the 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.
Russia reported nearly 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, its biggest spike in infections since the outbreak began.
Additional reporting by Melissa Klein