New York Has Biggest 1-day Jump in Coronavirus Deaths

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A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn borough of New York. The body was moved to a hearse to be removed to a mortuary. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — New York state reported 731 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, its biggest jump since the start of the outbreak, dampening some of the cautious optimism officials have expressed about efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

The state’s death toll grew to 5,489.

The alarming surge in deaths comes as new hospital admissions have dropped on average over several days, a possible harbinger of the outbreak finally leveling off. Cuomo said the death tally is a “lagging indicator” that reflects the loss of critically ill people hospitalized earlier.

“That’s 731 people who we lost. Behind every one of those numbers is an individual. There’s a family, there’s a mother, there’s a father, there’s a sister, there’s a brother. So a lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers,” Cuomo said at a briefing at the state Capitol.

The state has been recording more than 500 deaths a day since late last week. The number of confirmed cases — which does not include infected people who have not been tested — is close to 139,000 statewide.

While Cuomo said New York could be reaching a “plateau” in hospitalizations, he warned that gains are dependent on people continuing to practice social distancing.

“This is a projection,” he said. “It still depends on what we do, and what we do will affect those numbers.”

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