Do you want the good news or the bad news first? Let’s start with the good news: While the number of COVID-19 deaths has effectively flattened out over the last two days—it was up slightly, day over day, from 4,159 to 4,758, but was down for the first time yesterday—New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo said that this trend could be the first signs of a potential flattening of New York’s curve. (In other words, reaching the “apex” that everyone’s been waiting for.) Could that mean that the state no longer needs 110,000 hospital beds? Or the number of ventilators projected? That earlier predictions of COVID-19-related deaths were too high? It’s still too soon to tell.
The bad news? Because New York is still leading all other states in new COVID-19 cases, with more than 130,000 cases reported, Governor Cuomo said he would be extending the work-from-home order and closures of nonessential businesses and schools until April 29. “I know that’s a negative for many, many reasons,” said Cuomo. “I know what it does to the economy. But I’m not going to choose between public health and economic activity, because in either event, public health still demands that we stay on pause with businesses closed and schools closed, whether we have or haven’t hit the apex.”
To keep social distancing front of mind and enforced in New York communities, Cuomo also said he would be increasing the maximum fine for violations of State social distancing protocols (Saratoga Public Safety Commissioner Robin Dalton made mention of these fines in a recent press conference). Those fines will be doubled from $500 to $1,000.