NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Although the state saw nearly 600 new deaths reported in the past 24 hours, there are signs the “curve” of coronavirus infections may be flattening out at a peak.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to see that trend continue and both doubled the fine for violating social distance rules as well as extended school and non-essential business closures to April 29, 2020.
The governor shared updated numbers and projections on Monday bringing the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York at 130,689.
- 130,689 tested positive (+8,658)
- 16,837 people hospitalized (+358)
- 4,504 ICU patients (+128)
- 4,758 death (+599)
- 13,366 patients discharged (+1,179)
Models showed the number of infections following a rapid rate increase along a curve before hitting an “apex” peak and gradually dropping back down, but those projections only hold if people keep observing social distance rules to minimize further exposures, said Cuomo.
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“We all have a responsibility, we all have a role in this we said from day one,” said Cuomo during his Monday daily COVID-19 briefing. “We have to respect the role that we play because that role is a societal obligation. That’s how I see it.”
WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gives Coronavirus Update
As outdoor weather improves and a week of holidays tempts people toward public gatherings, Cuomo stressed he expected local communities to police themselves and enforce the “stay at home” rules for everyone without an essential job.
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“I want to be frankly more aggressive on the enforcement, because all the anecdotal evidence is people are violating it at a higher rate than before,” said Cuomo. “We’re going to increase the potential maximum fine from $500 to $1,000, but it’s not really about the fine. Nobody wants the money. We want the compliance.”
In addition, Cuomo said the New York PAUSE policy, keeping schools and non-essential businesses closed until April 29.
“If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a very high level, and there’s tremendous stress on the healthcare system,” said Cuomo. “This healthcare system, which is at maximum capacity today, this is a hospital system where we have our foot to the floor and the engine is at red line, and you can’t go any faster.
“You can’t stay at red line for any period of time, because the system will blow,” he said. “That’s where we are, we are at rattling people who can’t work any harder. The staff can’t work any harder and staying at this level is problematic. If we are plateauing, it’s because social distancing is working.”