New York state will extend its stay-at-home restrictions at least through May 15 amid signs the initial wave of the coronavirus outbreak is slowing down.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that transmission rates still need to be tamed as he prolonged the restrictions that have left most New Yorkers housebound.
The number of people hospitalized statewide has ticked down to around 17,000, far below initial projections. But there are still close to 2,000 newly diagnosed people coming into hospitals daily, Cuomo says.
New York recorded 606 COVID-19-related deaths Wednesday, the lowest daily number in more than a week.
“This is still continuing at a really tragic, tragic rate,” Cuomo says at a press briefing.
The governor says the requirement for New Yorkers to wear face coverings when people are out and close by other people starting Friday will also help fight the outbreak.
The confirmed coronavirus death toll in the United States surpassed 30,000 on Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The tracker says 31,002 people have now died in the country from COVID-19 since the start of the global health crisis.
The US has the highest death toll in the world, followed by Italy with 21,645 dead although its population is just a fifth of that of the US.
Spain has recorded 19,130 deaths, followed by France with 17,167.
Over 640,000 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the United States, which has seen a record number of deaths over the past two days.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump promised to unveil plans later Thursday to reopen the US economy, claiming his country has “passed the peak” of the coronavirus crisis despite the record daily death tolls.
Promising swift guidelines, he has suggested less-affected states could ease restrictions before May 1.