For five days in a row, officials in New York have reported both good and bad news in the state's fight against the novel coronavirus.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and other leaders say victory is still a long way away.
The state is now urging COVID-19 survivors to donate blood. Officials see promise in convalescent plasma from survivors being used to treat patients seriously ill from the disease.
Anyone with questions about donating blood can go to nycb.org for more information.
Hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations due to the pandemic respiratory disease are on the decline in New York, but Cuomo says the state is still grappling with a nightmarish death toll because of the virus.
There were 799 COVID-19-related deaths in New York on Wednesday — another record single-day tally for the state. Cuomo noted at a news conference Thursday morning that in total COVID-19 has killed 7,067, more than twice as many people as died the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"9/11 was so devastating, so tragic, and we lose so many New Yorkers to this silent killer," Cuomo said of the numbers. "There was no explosion, but it was a silent explosion that just ripples through society, with the same randomness, the same evil as we saw on 9/11."
New York is going so far as to call additional funeral directors to the state to help lay to rest those who have succumbed to the virus.
Thursday marked 80 days since the first confirmed coronavirus case in the United States, 39 days since the first COVID-19 case in New York and 18 days since Cuomo enacted the PAUSE stay-home order, which will remain in effect until April 29.
As New York mulls when and how to restart the state's economy through more widespread SARS-CoV-2 testing and better COVID-19 therapies, officials are desperate to avoid a second wave of outbreaks, like the ones reported in Asia.
"We can’t handle the worst case scenarios," he said. "We can’t even handle the moderate case scenarios. It is essential that we keep that curve flattened because we don’t have an option if it goes higher.”
Cuomo again urged New Yorkers to continue to social distance, saying the slowing hospitalization rate is entirely a function of the draconian measures.
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