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New York Reports Lowest Net Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Three Weeks

New York Reports Lowest Net Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Three Weeks
by Dan Clark • Published on April 9, 2020 • Last modified on April 10, 2020 • 0 Comments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to reports Thursday April 9, 2020.
Credit: Dan Clark
New York reported the lowest number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 Thursday than it’s seen in three weeks, with a net increase of only 200 patients, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during his daily briefing.
That’s the lowest net number of hospitalizations since March 18, when the state recorded an increase of 121 over the day before. The number had since spiked more than tenfold, but has fallen in the last six days.
Courtesy: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo said the state’s current projections on its need for hospital beds, going forward, is below what they predicted initially, beating out even the most favorable models. But that will only last if residents continue to distance themselves from society, he said.
“This is all a direct consequence to our actions,” Cuomo said. If we stop acting the way we’re acting, you will begin to see those numbers go up.”
But, at the same time, New York saw — for the third day in a row — its largest-ever single-day increase in the number of deaths due to the disease, with 799 more fatalities Thursday.
That brings the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in New York to 7,067. As of Thursday, 18,279 people were currently hospitalized with the disease, with 4,925 in the intensive care unit.
Of those tested for the disease in New York, 159,937 had been reported as positive, according to state data.
Cuomo said, again Thursday, that there’s still no expectation on when New York will reopen non-essential businesses and schools. That will depend on the data, he said. It’s moving in the right direction, but they want to identify a long-term trend before taking any steps, he said.
“You’re not out of the woods, and now is not the time to misunderstand what’s happening,” Cuomo said.
To ease the financial frustrations of New Yorkers left jobless because of the state’s rules, improvements will be made to the unemployment system to expedite benefits requests, said Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide.
The application for unemployment will be removed from the state Department of Labor’s website Thursday evening until 7 p.m., after which it will be replaced with a more streamlined process. If applicants successfully complete the form, they’ll be cleared for benefits.
The system, right now, asks users who have a problem with the form to call the state Department of Labor. That will no longer be the case. After tonight, applicants will, instead, receive a call from the agency within three days of their initial request.
That means applicants will no longer have to wait on the phone with the agency for an employee to process their request. Benefits will also be retroactive, so if an applicant receives a call on the third day — or hasn’t been able to get through — that won’t affect the amount they’ll receive.
Cuomo said the state is still working to expand a test for antibodies that’s been approved by the state Department of Health. That test could be the key to identifying individuals who’ve recovered from COVID-19 and could, therefore, re-enter society.
All of that costs money. Cuomo said he, again Thursday, reached out to federal lawmakers to request more aid to the state government in New York to cover its costs from responding to the pandemic.