NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said he believes “the worst” of the coronavirus outbreak has passed in New York, but stressed the pandemic is not over yet.
The optimistic message from the governor came as the state reported its lowest daily death toll in about a week with 671 new fatalities since Sunday.
“The worst is over because the worst here are people dying,” Cuomo said. “We can control spread and reduce number of people who die and our healthcare system can do phenomenal work and rise to the occasion and deal with this beast, it has not overwhelmed health care system, we have controlled the spread.”
The number was the first time in a week that the toll had dipped below 700. Cuomo also stressed that hospitalizations appear to be reaching a plateau.
Still, Cuomo stressed that people are dying at a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.”
Cuomo called the virus a “killer” during his daily press briefing.
“This virus is good at what it does,” he emphasized.
The governor said there are about 2,000 new people hospitalized every day, but the number of people in hospitals currently has flattened to around 19,000.
When asked if he could see the state open anytime soon, the governor stressed that reopening will be a very slow process.
He said the state, and country, will have to “open the valve slowly” and keep watching the rate of infection. He emphasized that they do not want to reopen everything without being sure the virus will not surge once more.
“It’s not going to be, we flick a switch, and everybody gets out of their house and gets in their house and waves, it’s not going to happen that way, it can’t happen that way,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo also announced on Monday that New York has joined New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rode Island in forming a regional advisory council to put together a plan to reopen the economy.
"This is new terrain for all of us. As we make life-saving decisions there is strength in unity," Gov. Cuomo said.
However, the governor says he believes the coronavirus pandemic will only be over when there is a vaccine for the virus.