New York officials are more confident than ever that the state is beyond the "plateau" of the COVID-19 outbreak, but that doesn't mean anyone is happy.
In a daily briefing Tuesday from Buffalo, NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that the state's net change total in hospitalizations and intubations are both down, meaning the overall prognosis for New York is sunnier than it was even two weeks ago.
But Cuomo's voice remains one of caution; the governor is keeping perspective throughout the novel coronavirus ordeal. There were 1,300 new COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state on Monday and 481 new COVID-19 deaths.
"That's good news, relative to really bad news, which is what was happening up until then, right?" Cuomo said. "We have to remember out calculus of good, our definition of good has changed here. 'Good' is now 'not terrible.' On an absolute scale, 1,300 people in a single day walk into an emergency room in New York with COVID — that would not be good news in any other context but the context we're living in."
The Monday death toll of 481 is a significant decrease from previous weeks in which the state recorded several days with over 700 COVID deaths.
Cuomo continues to belabor his point that expanding testing is crucial to reopening New York, but that testing cannot be expanded without supplies that come from overseas. The governor has been urging the federal government to help negotiate trade with suppliers so states are not forced to compete with one another for materials.
He likened the battle against the virus to fighting a brushfire, wherein a single ember can ignite a region. In previous press briefings, Cuomo has noted that the first epicenter for COVID-19 in New York was not in congested New York City but in suburban Westchester County, where one or two infected people unknowingly sparked local outbreaks after attending crowded religious services.
More robust testing will allow states to locate, investigate and isolate coronavirus outbreaks within their borders, Cuomo says, while allowed most of the rest of the state to get back to work.
Cuomo was scheduled to visit with President Trump at the White House Tuesday afternoon to discuss how the federal government can help make strides in testing.
As of Tuesday, the state had reported 247,512 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 18,000 likely COVID-19 deaths.
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