New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday cited tentative signs the coronavirus outbreak was “flattening” in his state but warned against complacency as the U.S. death toll topped 10,000 and the number of cases reached 350,000.
New York reported 4,758 coronavirus-related deaths as of Monday, an increase of 599 from Sunday, compared with an increase of 594 during the previous 24 hours. On Friday, the state’s death toll increased by 630.
Cases in the state increased by 7 percent in 24 hours to 130,680. Hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care units and intubations – the process of inserting a breathing tube for use in mechanical ventilation – had all declined, signs of a “possible flattening of the curve.”
Cuomo extended until April 29 an order to keep non-essential businesses and schools closed and told residents venturing outdoors in good weather while ignoring social distancing rules they faced maximum fines of $1,000, twice the original penalty.
A national U.S. health official said the country entered what he called the “peak death week,” while a watchdog report said hospitals were struggling to maintain and expand capacity to care for infected patients.
The U.S. death toll, numbering 10,297 on Monday, was rapidly closing in on Italy and Spain, the countries with the most fatalities to date at nearly 16,000 and more than 13,000 respectively.
More than 90% of Americans are under stay-at-home orders issued by state governors while eight states still were holding out on imposing such restrictions.
White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die in the pandemic, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.