We’re now officially two weeks into New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandatory lockdown, and finally, there may be a glimmer of good news to report.
In his daily press conference on April 5, Governor Cuomo noted that, for the first time since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold in the state, there’s been a drop in related deaths. “The number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping for the first time,” said Cuomo. The stats are as follows: On April 2, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths was 562; on April 3, that total jumped to 630; but on April 4, that total was down to 594.
Cuomo, however, was quick to note that it’s unclear what that drop in COVID-19 deaths means. “What is the significance of that?” he asked, rhetorically. “It’s too early to tell.”
Additionally, the total number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations was down, dramatically, from 1,095 on April 3 to 574 on April 4. “That’s partially a function of more people being discharged,” said Cuomo, though there has been a sizable uptick in hospitalizations on Long Island, though Upstate New York remains flat.
On Friday, several Capital Region hospitals, including Albany Medical Center and Saratoga Hospital, reported that they were actively taking in COVID-19 patients from New York City. That day, Cuomo also noted then that he had signed an executive order to transport unused ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) that were not being used by upstate hospitals for use in downstate facilities, temporarily. (Upstate hospitals would then be restocked or reimbursed, as needed.)
When a reporter at the April 5 press conference asked Cuomo about whether Upstate New Yorkers should be worried about being left underprepared from the measure, if the COVID-19 cases start erupting here, Cuomo said this: “The concept here that people have to get is nobody can handle this alone. Nobody. The people of New York City, Nassau [County], Suffolk [County], Westchester [County], Buffalo, Albany [County] can’t handle this alone. That is just a fact. This virus will overwhelm the resources of any single community.” He added: “Our mental wisdom and ethos here in New York is we’ll help one another.”
In essence, each area, whether it be Buffalo or Albany, will have medical equipment brought in from other communities as needed, when and if the outbreak reaches a peak in the coming days or weeks.