New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday reported that the number of intensive care unit admissions in state hospitals has decreased for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak took hold.
Mr. Cuomo reported 777 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the state total to 7,844, though the overnight deaths ticked slightly down after a string of several single-day highs.
“Overall, New York is flattening the curve,” Mr. Cuomo said at his daily briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak in his state, home to nearly 20 million people.
He also said there was a “dramatic decline” in the three-day average of overall hospitalizations.
“The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives and endure great pain as a state,” he said. “The number is lower than yesterday, [for] those who can take solace in that fact. … The leveling off of the number of lives lost is a somewhat hopeful sign.”
New York has been the hardest-hit state in the country amid the pandemic, with more than 159,900 cases. More than 391,500 people have been tested.
There are approximately 18,000 hospitalizations in New York state right now — far less than projections that the state could need as many as 110,000 hospital beds at the apex of the crisis.
Mr. Cuomo said that such a discrepancy should not affect his credibility.
“What the statisticians will say is they were right,” he said. “They said we could flatten the curve if we took certain actions and if people complied with those actions. They will say that’s why the curve is flatter.”
Mr. Cuomo said more testing for the virus — both to see who has it and who had it at some point through antibody testing — will be key to getting the state back up and running.
He said he wants New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to form a partnership with the federal government to get testing up to scale because the private sector doesn’t have that kind of capacity.
“In New York, 30 million tests you could use — as many as you can make, you can use,” he said.
President Trump on Thursday suggested that the U.S. did not need a national testing system before parts of the country started to reopen.