Cuomo: COVID-19 Hospitalizations in New York Lowest Since April 1
Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared some more good news about the battle with COVID-19, but adds all "social distancing measures still apply."
On Saturday during his COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo announced 437 deaths in the last 24 hours, slightly more than from Friday's report, bringing the statewide total to 16,599 from COVID-19.
Cuomo revealed on Friday New York had about 1,100 people enter the hospital with COVID-19, which is still more than officials would like to see, but the lowest number reported in 21 days.
"All the evidence says we're on the decline," he said. "Our efforts are working. But we must keep it up if we want the curve to decline faster. We have been through hell and it's not over yet. Social distancing measures still apply."
Cuomo added he would like to see the daily number of people entering the hospital with COVID-19 in the hundreds.
He announced he signed an Executive Order to allow independent pharmacists to conduct diagnostic coronavirus tests.
"This will unlock a network of over 5,000 pharmacies as COVID-19 testing locations," he tweeted. "This will help us meet new lab capacity."
Cuomo says this expansion will allow medical professionals, firefighters and other essential workers to get a test.
"We are dramatically increasing the capacity for this group. They are our heroes who are risking their health to get us through this crisis. They deserve priority for testing. Hopefully, we'll get to the point where anyone who wants a test they can get a test. That was the dream," Cuomo said.
He also announced officials are conducting antibody testing for frontline healthcare workers at four New York City hospitals, Bellevue Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital, Montefiore and SUNY Downstate Health Sciences.
Next week the NYPD, New York State Police and transit workers will get antibodies tests.
Cuomo reminded New Yorkers the coronavirus pandemic has lasted about "56 long days," so far.
"What New Yorkers are doing is actually saving lives. It’s no exaggeration," he said. "Generations are called upon to deal with high levels of difficulty. We are called upon to deal with this crisis. I know the last weeks haven’t been easy, but the sacrifices New Yorkers are making are not in vain."