There are "good signs" in New York's battle against the coronavirus as the state's death toll is "effectively flat for two days," the governor announced Monday, while also noting the state's health care system is "at maximum capacity."
The governor also reiterated his desire to have the USNS Comfort hospital ship join the Javits Center as a frontline facility to help New York City fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cuomo said during his midday press conference that there were 599 new statewide fatalities from the coronavirus as of Monday. That number is only slightly higher than the 594 new deaths reported on Sunday.
"While none of this is good news, the flattening, possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases that we have seen," Cuomo said.
He said the numbers are "hopeful" that New York is approaching its apex of coronavirus infections.
Cuomo also cautioned that the state is still facing a dire emergency and various models projecting how the outbreak will play out next in the state were "inconclusive."
"It can still go any way," Cuomo told reporters. "If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level and there's tremendous stress on the health care system."
New York on PAUSE is extended through April 29.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 6, 2020
Schools and non-essential businesses will remain closed.
Public health is our first concern.
The governor said over the weekend New York had 630 deaths from the virus in a 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday. The latest officials figures show 130,689 confirmed positive cases in New York and 4,758 people who have died from virus-related complications.
Cuomo announced additional measures to help the state fight against the COVID-19 spread. He is extending the statewide closure of schools and non-essential businesses will through April 29. The previous date was through April 15.
The governor also said he was doubling fines for those who violate social-distancing mandates, increasing the penalty from $500 to $1,000. He said the reason was "anecdotal evidence" that people were violating the orders at a higher rate than they were previously.
"It's not really about the fine, nobody wants the money," Cuomo said. "We want the compliance. We are serious."
Today I am increasing the maximum fine for violations of state-mandated social distancing rules from $500 to $1000.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 6, 2020
This is an enemy we have underestimated since day one.
This is not the time to be lax. We need to #StayHome and stay properly distanced.