NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to answer the question on everyone’s mind on Tuesday: When will the coronavirus outbreak end so people can get back to the normalcy of their lives.

Odds are, you won’t like his answer.

READ MORE: Roads Flood, Rivers Overflow As Nor'easter Dumps Heavy Rain During Morning Commute In New Jersey

During his daily briefing with the media, Cuomo explained that the situation has had moments of hope, like the fact that more than 5,000 people have been released from hospitals and that New York continues to test more people per capita than China and South Korea.

Watch: Gov. Cuomo’s Coronavirus Update — March 31, 2020:


However, the governor reiterated that the state is still not near the apex of the outbreak. He said he is consulting numerous models by health experts and mathematicians and estimates the peak will not hit for another one to three weeks.

“When is it over? Nobody knows. I can say this, it’s not going to be soon … so calibrate yourself and your expectations so you are not disappointing yourself,” Cuomo said.

MORECoronavirus Update: Central Park, US Open Site Being Converted Into Emergency Field Hospitals

The governor said the mass stockpiling of health equipment is not for today; it’s for what’s coming.

“We have been behind this virus since the beginning. We have been playing catch-up. We don’t win playing catchup. We underestimated this virus. It is more powerful and dangerous than we expected,” Cuomo said. “We have to get ahead of it and fight the fight today. the main battle is at the apex. We’re still going up the mountain. The main battle is on the top of the mountain. That’s where the main battle is going to be, the apex of the curve. And then we come down the other side of the mountain. We are planning now for the battle at the top of the mountain. That’s what we are doing.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cuomo said the state healthcare system is still struggling to keep up with the demand, so it is becoming more and more obvious that business as usual will not return for some time.

“We have two missions overall that we are pursuing. One is the frontline of this battle, our hospital system. That’s what this is going to come down to,” Cuomo said. “The second is social responsibility. Stay at home. Don’t get infected in the first place, because it goes back to you creating a burden on our healthcare system that our healthcare system cannot handle.

“We’re talking about exceeding the capacity of our hospital system. By some estimates, two times. So what does this come down to, besides all the other issues? It comes down to not overwhelming the hospital system, because those people who need acute care may not be able to get the acute care,” he added.

READ MORE: Storm Topples Large Tree Onto Car In Jackson Heights, Queens; Hollis Residents Remain Mindful Of Prior Storm Devastation

MORECoronavirus Tracking Survey: More Than One-Third Of NYC Households Lost Jobs Since Outbreak Began

The governor used a personal situation to highlight the importance of social distancing and listening to what the experts are advising. He announced that his brother, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, recently tested positive and is now in quarantine in the basement of his home.

Andrew Cuomo said his brother’s situation should come as a warning to all those who think they don’t need to take the pandemic seriously.

“There’s a lesson in this. He’s an essential worker, a member of the press, so he’s been out there. [But] If you go out there the chance that you get infected is very high,” the governor said.

“You want to go out and act stupid for yourself, that’s one thing. But your stupid actions, don’t just affect you. You come home, you can affect, in fact, someone else. And you can cause a serious illness or even death for them by your actions. And people have to really get this and internalize it because it can happen to anyone,” he added.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Inside NYC’s Viral ‘Warzone’

Gov. Cuomo said the single most important thing the public can do to help is to practice individual responsibility. If people feel they must go out, it is imperative that everyone follow social distancing guidelines.

“I know it’s hard to stay at home, and I know everyone thinks, ‘You know, I can go out and I can be smart and I won’t get infected because, to me, I’m a superhero. It’s not going to be me.’ That is not true,’ Cuomo sad.

“And it’s not just about you. It’s just about your health in your life that you’re playing with here, my friend. You can infect other people. So, I’ve been trying to communicate this many different ways for many days. We still see people coming out, who don’t need to be out, even for essential workers. Everyone is subject to this virus. It is the great equalizer. I don’t care how smart, how rich, how powerful you think you are,” the governor added.

As for the daily numbers, Cuomo said there were more than 9,000 new positive cases state-wide on Tuesday, and nearly 76,000 overall. There are almost 11,000 people hospitalized, including 2,700 in the Intensive Care Unit.

He said 1,550 people have died, up 332 from Monday.

The governor stressed the need for faster testing and at-home testing.

MORE NEWS: Long Island Preparing For Potential Flooding, Power Outages As Winds Pick Up

“We’re working on additional testing, as I said. The Department of Health has a new test,” Cuomo said. “We’re also working on the new medications. We’re leading the country in many of those developments. We have saliva testing now. We’re working on the antibody testing and we’re working on the plasma testing at the same time.”