‘We’ve controlled the beast,’ but New York PAUSE to be extended to May 15

An empty Canal Street on a Friday afternoon at the height of the COVID-19 crisis. (Photo by Mark Hallum)

Although three-day averages of hospitalization and intubations on a continued downward trend and Governor Andrew Cuomo confident the coronavirus has been outmaneuvered, New York PAUSE has been extended to May 15.

Even the death count has improved with the daily updates falling in the mid-to-high 700 range throughout the week, 606 for a total of 12,192 statewide reported Thursday.

“We’re talking about a reduction in increases. You still have 2,000 people every day who are walking into a hospital for the first time or being diagnosed with COVID for the first time,” Cuomo said. “Now we know we can control this disease. The worst news is over 600 people died yesterday from the disease. That is still continuing at a tragic, tragic rate.”

Of the 606, 28 were in nursing homes, the Cuomo administration says.

Cuomo says the extension of PAUSE will be done in coordination with the seven other northeast states who have struck a pact. The UK has even extended its lockdown measures for an additional three weeks, it was announced Thursday.

“You do it in phases of priority and then you phase it up the way we phased it down which is by percentages. And this is going to be an ongoing process that we’re going to be going through with the other states,” Cuomo said. “This is going to be a moment of transformation for society and we paid a very high price for it. But how do we learn the lessons so that this new normal is a better normal.”

On Wednesday, Cuomo said he and other governors would decide which businesses can slowly reopen, or redefined as essential, with minimal risk of reigniting the spread of the disease. To accomplish this, Cuomo once again called on the federal government to step in to provide lab testing resources across the state of 16 million people.

“I’m very much looking forward to the federal government’s willingness to tackle this knowing that it’ll be imperfect at best,” Cuomo said.

The feds would also be needed to track cases to further isolate the virus which would take considerable resources, Cuomo said.