Cuomo says testing key to restarting the economy

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 10:10 AM EDT
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New York recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths on Monday in its worst day yet of the outbreak. But despite the rising death toll and infections, there was a bit of good news from the governor on Tuesday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the number of hospitalizations may be reaching a plateau. He says the jump in deaths Monday was likely patients who got sick early on in the curve and are just now dying.

"These are people who came in at the peak. They were not successfully treated. They're on a ventilator. The longer you're on a ventilator the less likely you are to come off the ventilator," said Cuomo, D-New York.

The governor said New York's death toll had reached 5,489. After a drop in deaths the past few days, officials had been hopeful they were nearing the apex of the outbreak.

Cuomo warned that despite the spring weather, it is essential that residents stick to self-isolating to help protect themselves and others.

"It's about we, not me," he said.

New York's stay-at-home restrictions are extended through the end of the month. Violators now face up to $1,000 in fines.

So how and when do we get life back to normal? New York's governor says plans are underway for restarting the state's economy.

Cuomo says he's talking with his colleagues in New Jersey and Connecticut about a regional approach to restarting the economy.

"How do you get back to work as quickly as possible? It's going to come down to testing. You're going to have to know who had the virus, who resolved the virus, who never had it. And that's going to be testing," he said.

But Cuomo says the antibody testing that will tell us who is immune to COVID-19 is only just now being developed and it will take time to roll it out on a mass scale.

Meanwhile, a crew member of the Navy hospital ship sent to New York City for the coronavirus outbreak has tested positive for the disease. The Navy said in a prepared statement that the USNS Comfort crew member tested positive Monday and was being isolated. The Navy says the positive test will not affect the 1,000-bed hospital ship's mission to receive patients.

President Donald Trump said Monday he agreed to take COVID-19 patients aboard the ship after speaking with New York Gov. Cuomo.

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