New York leaders are warning that while the state and city are past the initial peak in the coronavirus outbreak, the number of new cases in the rest of the US is still rising.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio warned that other states may be moving too quickly to open up businesses and loosen restrictions on gatherings.
“This desire to restart and open up without necessarily referencing the actual facts of what’s going on is dangerous,” de Blasio said on CNN this morning.
At his daily briefing, state governor Andrew Cuomo said that while the number of new cases, hospitalizations and the death toll in New York were coming down, the rate of decline is “painfully slow”.
And he said: “We have turned the corner, but then you take New York out of the national numbers and the numbers for the rest of the nation are going up.”
Cuomo added, during the question and answer session with the media: “You have states opening up where the numbers are still on the incline, I think that’s a mistake.”
New York is still recording 600 new coronavirus cases a day. That’s down from around 1,000 a day during the peak in April and the state recorded 230 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, far lower than the peak of 799 a day on April 8.
Cuomo said he had hoped the rates of cases and deaths would have been coming down faster but the number of deaths is “stubborn and most distressing”.
The bulk of new cases are still in New York City, largely among the over-50s and disproportionately affecting African-Americans.
But he added that most of the new cases were being discovered among those who have been staying at home, largely retired or unemployed.
“So it comes down to personal behavior. What are you doing to protect yourself?” he said, noting that schools, most businesses and cultural sites are shut.
Meanwhile De Blasio said earlier that New Yorkers have succeeded in lowering virus infection rates by largely following social distancing orders and by covering their faces in public.
“My message to the rest of the country is learn from how much effort, how much discipline it took to finally bring these numbers down and follow the same path until you’re sure that it’s being beaten back or else if this thing boomerangs you’re putting off any kind of restart or recovery a hell of a lot longer,” he said.
As of today, there are 1.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and there have been 71,000 deaths.