With new record high in deaths from Covid-19, Governor orders flags at half-mast

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pictured in a screen shot of a news conference at 12:30 today, showed images of first responders and healthcare workers who died from Covid-19.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 April 2020 at 1:50 pm

Cuomo announces unemployment benefits extended from 26 to 39 weeks, with New Yorkers who filed receiving $600 check soon

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state seems to be flattening the curve and making progress in stopping the spread of coronavirus. However, the governor shared grim news that 779 people died in state on Tuesday from the virus, the highest death toll yet from Covid-19.

It surpassed the previous high of 731, which was on Monday. There are now 6,862 New Yorkers who have died from the virus. That is more than the 2,753 killed in New York City during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The governor said the daily number of people who die from the virus may remain high for another week to reflect the higher rate of hospitalizations from about a week to two weeks ago. The number admitted to the hospital for Covid-19 is slowing, and Cuomo expects the number of deaths to decline to reflect that. He told reporters at his 12:30 p.m. news conference that the healthcare system should stabilize in the next couple of weeks after seeing dramatic increases the past month in Covid-19 patients.

Cuomo said New York residents should not let their guard down about adhering to guidelines about social distancing and staying home as much as possible. The numbers could spike high again if people push too quickly to return to life before the pandemic.

“We are flattening the curve because we are rigorous about doing social distancing,” Cuomo said. “This is not a time to get complacent. We have to remain diligent.”

The governor, in honor of the 6,862 who have died from Covid-19, ordered that flags be lowered across the state.

Cuomo confirmed 10,453 additional cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 149,316.

He also announced unemployment benefits would be extended from 26 to 39 weeks, and those who filed for unemployment who be receiving a $600 check very soon. That check will be reimbursed to the state through the federal CARES Act.

The governor also announced absentee voting would be allowed for all registered voters in the state in the upcoming June 23 primary and election.

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