With the apex of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic expected to be in 14 to 21 days, 209 deaths related to the virus were reported in the last 24 hours.
The fatalities, reported at midday on Saturday, March 28 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news briefing in Albany, brings the state's total to 728.
There have been 1,839 COVID-19 deaths nationally, with 39.5 percent of those fatalities in New York State. (See first image above.)
Amid the grim news, there were a few encouraging developments even as the number of confirmed cases continues to climb in the state.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations declined by 307 since Friday, March 27. (See second image above.)
The number of patients admitted to ICU beds declined by 202 since Friday, March 27. (See third image above.)
Cuomo said it's too early to say if this may indicate the rate of the spread may be stabilizing, even if temporarily, but is encouraging for now.
So too is news that the New York Department of Health gained federal approval to start a precedent setting antibody test, to see if people have an immunity to the virus. This could mean employees could be cleared to return to workplaces earlier.
"It could be a big breakthrough," Cuomo said.
There were 7,681 new cases the last 24 hours, bringing the state's total to 52,318. (See fourth and fifth images above.)
In other developments, four new sites for emergency medical facilities in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx were approved by the government. That will give New York new facilities in all five boroughs with eight overall, including two on Long Island and one in Westchester. (See sixth image above.)
The 1,000-bed temporary hospital at the Jacobs Javits Center in Manhattan will open on Monday, March 30. (See seventh image above.)
Cuomo also announced the state's presidential primary, scheduled to be Tuesday, April 28, will be moved to Tuesday, June 23, the same date as congressional and legislative primary elections.
The state tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
Cuomo also shared some milestone dates involved with the outbreak, adding, "Keep it all in mind in this disorienting time when one days blends into the next."
- New York State had its first confirmed case of COVID-19 27 days ago.
- New Rochelle cluster, which has come down, was 18 days ago.
- Shutdown of non-essential workers eight days ago.
- China's first case was 12 weeks ago. Pandemic started nine weeks ago in South Korea and eight weeks ago in Italy.
"It's going to be a marathon, but we will get through it," Cuomo said. "We will be changed from it, but I believe we will better for it."
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