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New York’s COVID-19 deaths slow, though governor warns against ‘reckless’ behavior

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Further signs are emerging that New York is flattening its coronavirus curve as the number of new deaths recorded daily across the state slows. 

The number of new deaths recorded on Sunday stood at 671, pushing the total number of New Yorkers lost past 10,000, to a total of 10,056, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday from Albany. That’s down from a peak last week of 799 deaths in a single day, and comes as highly respected scientific models project a sharp fall in deaths by the end of this week.

On Saturday, the number of daily deaths in the state stood at 758, on Friday it was 783. Though flattening, the figure is flattening at a “horrific level,” Cuomo said. 

In New York City, the decline was more pronounced. There were 326 deaths between Saturday and Sunday mornings, according to data from the city’s department of health. The figure is below the 398 logged between Friday and Saturday morning, and almost half of the 639 deaths that were recorded during the 24 hours prior to that, the city health department data show.

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“The worst can be over, and it is over unless we do something reckless,” Cuomo said, warning that progress could easily be reversed based on two or three days of careless behavior.

The state’s latest death toll is in line with projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which projected that 683 New Yorkers would die from COVID-19 on April 12, and its modeling shows a continuous downward trajectory going forward.

By the end of the week, the institute projects that the number of daily deaths across the state will have fallen to 400.

The institute, funded by the Gates Foundation, takes into account the effects of social distancing measures until at least the end of May 2020 and uses a wide range of data sources, including local and national governments, hospital networks and associations, the World Health Organization, according to their website. 

The institute did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The drop in the number of new deaths across the Empire State correlates with other declining measures, particularly the falling number of intubations. 

“When we talk about the number of deaths, those tend to be people who have been intubated for the longest period of time,” Cuomo said on Saturday. “This is a very good sign that intubations are down.”

Alongside intubations, ICU admissions were down across the state on Monday, as was the number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In New York City, new hospital admissions for suspected COVID-19 fell between Friday and Saturday, as did the daily number of people in the ICU in public hospitals and the percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. 

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“We do see all the indicators moving in the right direction, moving downward together,” de Blasio said. “This is a very good day. This is day one. Now, we’ve got to keep working all together to keep these numbers moving in the right direction.”

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