A month after New York’s 1st virus death, toll hits 10,000

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s coronavirus death toll has now topped 10,000 only about a month after the state recorded its first fatality, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

The state tallied 671 new deaths on Sunday. It was the first time in a week the daily toll dipped below 700.

Cuomo said the count has been “basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.” More than half of New York’s 10,056 deaths have come in the past week. Hospitals are still getting about 2,000 new patients a day.

The bleak numbers overshadowed hopeful trends that prompted Cuomo to tentatively declare Monday that the “worst is over” — as long as New Yorkers continue to follow stay-at-home restrictions.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus has almost flattened at just under 19,000, once discharges and deaths are taken into account. That’s a relief after weeks of increases raised fears New York City hospitals would be dramatically overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.

“I believe the worst is over if we can continue to be smart,” Cuomo said. “And I believe we can now start on the path to normalcy.”

The first reported fatality was an 82-year-old New York City woman with emphysema who died March 11. Officials initially said she died March 13, but the city’s health department corrected the date later.

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