NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The numbers for the rate of hospitalizations in New York State coronavirus have leveled out, but people who died due to COVID-19 illness put the state’s toll over the 10,000 mark.

“It appears we have a plateau,” said Cuomo said earlier on Monday, cautiously offering a personal opinion that “the worst is over.”

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The number of people hospitalized with the virus has flattened to just under 19,000.

“Nobody knows for how long because nobody has been here before,” he said.

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In New York State, a total of 671 people died on Easter Sunday, raising New York’s toll to 10,056 – a figure Cuomo pointed out was more than triple the total of 2,753 New Yorkers killed during the 9/11 terror attacks.

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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

The hospitalization rates by region have not changed in the past 11 days, meaning earlier fears about Long Island becoming the next explosive hotspot have not come to pass. Cuomo said about 2,000 people per day were going into the hospital, with an equal number leaving.

People continue to die at a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow,” said Cuomo.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“We were worried about the spread from New York City to suburbs Upstate, and we have been very aggressive when we get a little cluster spot that’s acting up, we jump on it,” said Cuomo. “This is like watching a fire going through dry grass with a strong wind and it’s blowing the fire, and a couple of embers wind up on one side of the field and embers start to catch fire and that’s a cluster and you have to run over to those embers and stamp them out right away before they grow.”

Cuomo cautioned the coronavirus outbreak will not be “over” until a vaccine was available, a benchmark the federal government and CDC say remains 12 to 18 months away.

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“You look around the world, you see warning signs from countries who have opened,” the governor said. “I want to learn from those other countries, frankly, and I want to make sure we know from our studying and assessment of what’s going on in other countries that what worked, what didn’t work, and let’s learn from those lessons and you can now go back and look at Wuhan province and look at Italy and look at South Korea, and see what they did and see what worked and what didn’t work so let’s learn.”