Following days of diminishing deaths, New York had its worst day in terms of COVID-19 deaths. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also spoke about how to restart life.

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On Tuesday, Cuomo reported the biggest single-day increase in deaths in New York related to COVID-19. 731 people died from coronavirus in the last 24 hours. 5,489 New Yorkers have now died from the virus.

The large increase in deaths follows two straight days of flat numbers. Cuomo said there might a "lag" in the death data. He noted the rise in reported deaths may lag behind the curve. He added hospitalizations are down while ICU and intubations are both way down.

"Right now, we're projecting we're reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he started talking with the other Governors in the Tri-State about how to restart life with a regional approach. Cuomo thinks there needs to be more testing, quicker testing before life can restart.

"We have to start planning restarting life. This is not like flicking a light switch," Cuomo said.

Cuomo noted rapid testing that gives results in 15 minutes are available but not yet available at a large scale.

"We cannot restart life as we knew it without testing," Cuomo said. "Testing is the essential component."

New York will invest in testing companies that can produce large scale amounts of rapid COVID-19 tests, Cuomo said.

"It's all about testing, testing, testing. We have done more testing than any state in the nation, but we need to do even more. Private companies: If you are interested in working with us to accelerate testing methods, call 212-803-3109 or email," Cuomo said.

According to Cuomo, the New York State Department of Health has developed an antibody test for coronavirus. The Department of Health and FDA is working to bring it to scale.

Cuomo said social distancing is working. New York on PAUSE is working. He noted the 1918 flu pandemic peaked in New York in six months and killed 30,000 New Yorkers while the coronavirus pandemic has "only been 37 days."

"I know it's felt like a lifetime. Remember it's about 'we' and not about 'me.' Social distancing is working. We need to vigorously maintain it. Lives depend on it," Cuomo said.

Cuomo thanked President Donald Trump for allowing the USNS Comfort to treat COVID-19 patients. He added the Navy ship is dropping from 1,000 beds to 500 beds because COVID-19 patients need more space.

Cuomo confirmed 138,836 positive COVID-19 cases in New York.

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