New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the coronavirus outbreak could “stabilize” within weeks if the state maintains strict social distancing policies, even as he announced the highest daily death count yet and said life for New Yorkers will never be the same.
“I don’t think we return to normal. I don’t think we return to yesterday,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. “I think we return to a new normal.”
The governor offered a glimmer of hope that the state’s stringent policies — closing nonessential businesses and requiring residents to stay home — are helping to slow down the spread of the virus.
Those social distancing measures are working, he said: “It is flattening the curve.”
If those rules are maintained, he said, there’s reason to believe the health “system should stabilize over these next couple of weeks.”
He said the state appears to have flattened the curve of the outbreak, referring to a line chart that depicts the growth in new cases. But he quickly added that would only last if people continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
“If we stop what we are doing, you will see that curve change,” Cuomo said.
The bad news, he said, “isn’t just bad. The bad news is actually terrible.”
Cuomo announced that 779 people had died from the virus since the last count, marking the state’s highest daily death toll yet.
The Empire state is the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States, with 140,386 confirmed cases and more than 5,489 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.