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Ahead of Reopening, New York State Records Fewest Covid-19 Deaths and Hospitalisations

File photo of a relatively quiet Park Avenue in New York in the wake of the coronavirus.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File photo

File photo of a relatively quiet Park Avenue in New York in the wake of the coronavirus. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File photo

The state lost 35 people on Friday to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just eight weeks ago. On Thursday, 42 New Yorkers died from the virus, another low since the pandemic began.

New York State, which has been the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, has recorded its lowest daily coronavirus deaths for the second straight day at 35, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday.

The state lost 35 people on Friday to COVID-19, down from a record-high of 800 just eight weeks ago. On Thursday, 42 New Yorkers died from the virus, another low since the pandemic began.

"Thirty-five New Yorkers died of coronavirus yesterday. This is a record low since this crisis began," Cuomo said on Saturday.

The number of total hospitalisations was down to 2,728 from a record-high of 18,825 during the peak of the pandemic, he said.

"We have the lowest number of deaths from coronavirus that we have had since this started -- 42 people passed yesterday. While our hearts ache for those families who lost loved ones yesterday, just eight weeks ago we had 800 deaths per day," Cuomo said Friday.

The governor credited the progress made in controlling the coronavirus outbreak to the people of the state who adhered to social distancing and lockdown requirements.

"The people of the state radically changed how they behaved, and look at that progress: lowest number of hospitalisations to date in a matter of weeks. Today's achievement is proof we know we can change, and we know we can change dramatically when we work together," he said.

There are a total of 376,208 confirmed cases in the New York State and the number of daily deaths has been below the 100 mark since late May after recording nearly thousand daily deaths in April.

New York City will begin reopening in a phased manner on June 8, bringing about 4000,000 employees back to work.

New York City had been shut since mid-March as coronavirus ravaged the metropolis, which has more than 199,000 COVID-19 cases so far and close to 20,000 deaths.

Regions across New York State began their phased re-opening this month but New York City remained shut as it did not meet the seven health-related criteria necessary for the first phase of reopening.

Cuomo has said the city is on track to meet all the metrics and will enter phase one of reopening on June 8.

"Phase one should bring about 4000,000 employees back to work in New York City. Remember that reopening does not mean we're going back to the way things were. It is reopening to a new normal, it's a safer normal," Cuomo had said late last month.

The first phase of re-opening allows construction, manufacturing and wholesale supply chain, retail for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup, and agriculture, forestry and fishing to resume operations.

Other regions in the state -- Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier -- entered Phase 2 of reopening, under which office-based workers, real estate services, in-store retail shopping and some barbershop services have been allowed to resume services.

The seven metrics that will define whether a region can re-open businesses are decline in total hospitalisations, decline in deaths measured by the three-day rolling average of daily new hospital deaths not exceeding 5, fewer than two new hospitalisations per 100,000 residents, hospital bed capacity regions must have at least 30 per cent of their total hospital beds available before a phased re-opening, availability of 30 per cent of ICU beds in a region, diagnostic testing capacity and contact tracing capacity.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the US has over 1.9 million COVID-19 infections with more than 109,000 deaths.

first published:June 06, 2020, 22:36 IST