New York COVID Deaths Continue to Decline

NEW YORK (AP) -
new york coronavirus deaths
A commuter walks along an empty train platform at Grand Central Terminal, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York reported 330 new COVID-19 deaths, continuing a trend of daily fatalities decreasing slowly over the past three weeks.

“The decline has been slow at best and still disgustingly high,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday at his daily briefing.

The virus has claimed almost 18,000 lives statewide since the outbreak began last month, according to state figures. The state total doesn’t include more than 5,300 New York City deaths that were attributed to the virus on death certificates but weren’t confirmed by a lab test.

Cuomo said virus-related hospitalization rates continue to tick down. But the number of new hospital admissions is holding at around 950 people a day. The governor said they hope to see daily admissions in the low hundreds.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced Wednesday that antibody testing to show whether a person has already been infected with the coronavirus will be offered to 150,000 health care workers and first responders under a partnership with the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The testing will begin next week and will take place at the front-line workers’ workplaces, the mayor said.

De Blasio noted that a positive antibody test does not guarantee that a person is immune to the virus, and he said health care workers and first responders who test positive for antibodies should not let down their guard or shed protective equipment such as masks. Still, he said, a positive antibody test should offer some reassurance.

“Anyone who has been infected and came through obviously had the ability to beat this disease,” de Blasio said. “Knowing you’ve been exposed to it is powerful information.”