The charts that should give New York hope: ICU and hospital admissions continue to fall - even as deaths still rise - as Cuomo raises prospect of getting people back to work with antibody tests

New York hit new lows in the number of hospitalizations and new ICU admissions due to coronavirus on Wednesday, suggesting the tide is finally turning in the state's battle against the pandemic. 
While deaths hit a new high of 799 in 24 hours and cases rose by 10,621, the number of new hospitalizations fell to just 200 - the lowest since the 'nightmare' began, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. 
The number of ICU admissions also fell to the lowest number since March 20. 
They indicate that social distancing has worked across the state - America's first epicenter - and that while more deaths will come as people currently on ventilators continue to succumb to the disease, the spike may be over. 
Gov. Cuomo urged caution on Thursday to anyone who believes that the crisis is over, however he discussed moving forward to restart the economy by issuing antibody tests that he says will determine if a person has had the virus and recovered from it. 
The New York State Department of Health has approved an antibody test and is now working to scale it up for the millions who will need it. 
He is also working to scale up rapid testing, which will quickly tell whether or not a person currently has the virus, and is asking anyone who knows they have recovered from the virus to donate blood so their plasma can be used to treat sick patients. 
Antibody testing is already underway in other countries that experienced the pandemic first, but it remains unclear how accurate they are in not only determining if a person has ever developed an immunity to the virus, but also how long that immunity lasts.  

The state is faring far better than any of the models suggested it would in terms of hospitalizations but Cuomo said the projections 'keep him up at night' and could still happen if people do not comply with social distancing
The state is faring far better than any of the models suggested it would in terms of hospitalizations but Cuomo said the projections 'keep him up at night' and could still happen if people do not comply with social distancing 
The death toll across the state of New York now stands at 7,067, a horrifying number which Cuomo said he struggled to accept on Thursday
The death toll across the state of New York now stands at 7,067, a horrifying number which Cuomo said he struggled to accept on Thursday
Governor Cuomo reveals latest grim death toll for New York
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'We had a 200 net increase in the number of hospitalizations which is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started. 
'The change of ICU admissions is the lowest we've had since March 19 or so. All of this data suggests that we are flattening the curve so far, and the numbers are going down so far. 
'The number of intubations is down on a three day average. 
'So far, our efforts are working better than anyone projected they would work,' he said. 
The state is faring far better than any of the projections predicted. 
Cuomo said it is because people are complying with social distancing. 
'Our efforts are working and they are working better than anyone projected they would work. That's because people are complying with them. 
'We can enact a policy and people thumb their nose at it. There has to be a social acceptance and New Yorkers are doing that. They're acting responsibly and diligently and we are saving lives.
'Our expression has been New York tough because every day is tough on so many levels, but every day that we New York tough, we are actually saving lives,' he said. 
The numbers would only continue to go down 'if' society continues to comply, he added. 
'That is the big if in the equation and that remains the big if in the equation,' he said. 
Cuomo's strategy for restarting the economy relies on testing.
By carrying out a combination of both antibody tests and rapid tests to see if someone currently has the virus, he says the state will be able to soon identify the people who are healthy and safe to clear for work. 
The antibody test will determine if a person has had the virus and recovered, whereas rapid testing will determine if they currently have it. 
The third dimension in the testing strategy involves convalescent plasma which will be extracted from a recovered person and then used to treat someone who is still stick from the virus. 
On Thursday, Cuomo called on anyone who had recovered from the virus to get in touch with the state to arrange donating their blood and extracting the plasma.
'We're not going to go from red to green. We're going to go from red to yellow and yellow is, let the people who can go back to work start going back to work. Test them. 
'We have to bring it to scale and we have to bring it to scale quickly,' he said. 
Earlier on Thursday, Dr. Fauci mentioned that private companies were working to develop an antibody for the federal government that would also become readily available. 
Despite the promising new indicators on hospitalization and ICU rates, the death toll continues to rise because people who were admitted to the hospital weeks ago are not recovering.  
'We lost more lives yesterday than we have to date - 799. You are talking about 799 lives. 
The number of deaths rose by 799 - the highest yet - which represents people who were hospitalized at the peak succumbing to the illness now
The number of deaths rose by 799 - the highest yet - which represents people who were hospitalized at the peak succumbing to the illness now 
De Blasio says time to 'double down' with possible lockdown into May
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'If you ever told me that as Governor, I'd have to take these actions.... I couldn't even contemplate where we are now,' he said. 
He again drew comparisons between the current crisis and 9/11, when 2,977 died, to illustrate the scale of the disaster. 
'I lived through 9/11. That was supposed to be the darkest day in New York for a generation. We've lost 7,000 lives to this virus. 
'That is so tragic, so painful. I don't even have words for it. 9/11 was so shocking, so tragic and in many ways we lose more New Yorkers to this silent killer. There's been no explosion.  
'It was a silent explosion that just rippled through society with the same randomness, the same evil, that we saw on 9/11.
'What do we do? We move forward and do the work we need to do,' he said. 
He is refusing to predict when the pandemic will be over, unlike Mayor Bill de Blasio who has repeatedly said the lockdown may last until May, saying: 'I am not going to guess when the data will say we should change our practices.
'How can you say that? Who can look forward and say, "this is where we're going to be in three to four weeks.
'You saw the projection models by the expert companies which frankly, were all off. So I'm not going to say to anyone, "this is where we'll be." I have no idea. 
'I don't know if the curve goes up or goes down. It depends on what we do and we'll know when we get there. 
'I have spoken to the smartest people in the world over the last few weeks and the smartest person will start by saying, "I don't know." 
'That, to me, is the sign of wisdom in all of this,' he said. 
He added that he was concerned about a possible second wave of infections and that the virus may mutate and resurface, data suggests it may be doing in Wuhan, where it originated, and Singapore. 
'This virus has been ahead of us from day one. We underestimated the enemy and that is always dangerous, my friends. 
Workers dig graves on Hart Island on Thursday. It will become a burial site for many of the victims of the pandemic in NYC
Workers dig graves on Hart Island on Thursday. It will become a burial site for many of the victims of the pandemic in NYC
Prisoners dig mass graves on Hart Island in hazmat suits
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'We should not do that again. The cities that have dealt with this before - Wuhan and Singapore  - we're now seeing a second wave. 
'There's a theory this can mutate and change and come back. 
'Right now, we are in a battle but this is about a war. We're only on battle one. We have to stay prepared for what ca come down the road,' he said.
He also reminded New Yorkers that while 'intense', it had only been 18 days since the state was put on lockdown. 
'It's been 18 days since we closed down New York. I know it feels like a lifetime, its only 18 days. It's 39 days since the first COVID case in New York. It's 80 days since we had the first COVID case in the US. 
'It's been an intense, life changing 80 days, but that's what it has been,' he said. 
The worst case scenario said the state would need 136,000 hospital beds at once and 55,000 in the best case scenario. 
The state has the capacity for 90,000 beds but Cuomo said the 'worst case' could not ever happen. 
'We can't handle the worst case scenarios... so it is essential we keep that curve flattened because we don't have an option of handling the curve if it goes higher,' he said.  
An American flag flies at half-mast at the World Trade Center on Thursday. Cuomo ordered all flags to fly at half-mast on Wednesday to honor the thousands who have been killed
An American flag flies at half-mast at the World Trade Center on Thursday. Cuomo ordered all flags to fly at half-mast on Wednesday to honor the thousands who have been killed 
Hospital staff transport coronavirus patients and victims in NY
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Cuomo also fumed over the way the situation had been handled on a governmental level. He said in future, there must be a plan in place that either involves FEMA, the federal government's emergency agency, taking charge or the states coming together.
In the early stages of the pandemic, there was a mad-dash for equipment, chiefly ventilators, which resulted in a global bidding war and a bidding war between the states. 
Cuomo has described it as a 'crazy scenario' which only ever happened because FEMA refused to be the buying agent on behalf of all 50 states. He had requested that the feds buy the equipment then distribute it to the states if and when they needed it. Trump dismissed the notion, saying the federal government is not a 'shipping clerk' for the states. 
Since then, various states have worked together to try to alleviate the localized outbreaks causing the most stress. 
California and Washington, for example,  both donated ventilators to New York. There has since been discussion of a national consortium of states that, in the event of another crisis, would act as one. 
'This was just crazy, that I am bidding on a machine that Illinois, California and Florida are bidding on and we're bidding up each other and at the same time I'm trying to figure out how to do business with China and every state has to scramble. 
'It was crazy. That can't happen again,' he said. 
He did give thanks to FEMA and the federal government for mobilizing the Army Corps of Engineers who are responsible for building the 2,500 bed Javits Center Field Hospital in just five days. 
New York is the coronavirus epicenter of the world with more infections than any other country outside the U.S. - and a third of global cases are now in America - as the state tops 159,000 cases 
New York state is now the coronavirus epicenter of the world with more infections than any other country outside of the United States. 
The number of confirmed cases in New York state increased to 159,937 on Thursday after the number of infections went up by 10,000 in 24 hours. 
In comparison, Spain has now recorded just over 152,000 cases and Italy's infections increased to more than 142,000.     
China, which is where the coronavirus first broke out late last year, currently has nearly 83,000 infections. 
The United States has just over 436,000 cases and accounts for a third of the world's total infections.  
In terms of fatalities, Italy's death toll is the highest across with the globe with more than 18,000 cases. The US follows with 15,600 and then Spain with 15,300.  
New York state's death toll as of Thursday was just over 7,000.  
The charts that should give New York hope: ICU and hospital admissions continue to fall - even as deaths still rise - as Cuomo raises prospect of getting people back to work with antibody tests The charts that should give New York hope: ICU and hospital admissions continue to fall - even as deaths still rise - as Cuomo raises prospect of getting people back to work with antibody tests Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:05 Rating: 5

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