NEW YORK — The daily increase in coronavirus deaths in New York state has dropped under 550 for the first time in over two weeks as hospitalizations continue to decline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, while warning that the crisis is far from over: Hospitals are still reporting nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 patients per day.

“You are not seeing a total overload of the emergency rooms. That doesn’t mean happy days are here again,” the Democrat said. “We are not at a point when we are going to be reopening anything immediately.”

The state logged 540 deaths Friday from the COVID-19 virus, the lowest number since April 1.

Nearly 13,000 New Yorkers in all have died since the state’s first coronavirus case was reported March 1, the governor said. The state total doesn’t include more than 4,000 New York City deaths that were blamed on the virus on death certificates but weren’t confirmed by a lab test.

More than 2,700 people in New York nursing homes have lost their lives, more by far than in any other state.

Nursing homes are “the feeding frenzy for this virus,” Cuomo said Saturday, noting that the facilities are under pressure from staff shortages and illness and residents’ fragility.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with underlying health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Izaguirre reported from Charleston, West Virginia.


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