New York coronavirus daily death toll reaches third-straight record at 799, Gov. Cuomo says

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (D) speaking at a press Conference at the State Capitol.

Michael Brochstein | Barcroft Media | Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is bringing in more funeral directors as coronavirus deaths across the state hit a third-straight daily record with 799 fatalities on Wednesday.

“We’re in a battle, right, but this is about a war,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany on Thursday. “Before you start talking about restarting the economy, you’re going to have to address the damage that is done to society today, which is intense.”

New York state is grappling with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the country with more than 151,000 confirmed cases across the state and 81,800 in New York City alone — almost as many as China, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

At least 4,571 New Yorkers have died from the coronavirus, according to Hopkins. The deaths have been steadily rising all week: 731 fatalities on Monday, 779 on Tuesday and 799 on Wednesday, according to a chart presented at the press conference.

While deaths are climbing, the rate of new cases is starting to level off, Cuomo said. But he warned residents against becoming complacent, saying officials worry the coronavirus could resurge if they let up on stay-at-home restrictions. 

“The 1918 Spanish Flu came in three waves. We’re on the first wave. Everybody is assuming, ‘Well, once we get through this we’re done.’ I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that,” he said. “This virus has been ahead of us from day one. We’ve underestimated the enemy and that is always dangerous, my friends. And we should not do that again.”

Earlier in the day, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city may need to tighten its social distancing restrictions to contain the coronavirus outbreak and prevent it from resurging, saying it’s going to be a “long, tough” April. 

“Unfortunately, restrictions may have to go up, meaning if things really get worse, we might have to tighten up further,” de Blasio said Thursday at a press conference. “It’s not what I envision today. It’s not what any of us want. But the truth is the truth. I don’t think anyone watching out there wants to be told pretty lies.” 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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