New York coronavirus hospitalizations keep falling, shutdown extended

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The number of people hospitalized for the novel coronavirus and related deaths in New York fell to their lowest levels in more than a week, adding to evidence that the hardest-hit state was controlling its spread, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday.

Cuomo also extended an order closing businesses and schools by two weeks until at least May 15 in coordination with other states in the region, and added details to mask requirements, saying New Yorkers should wear them on buses, taxis and trains.

Cuomo, who has emerged as a leading national voice on the pandemic, said the improvement in key metrics reflecting social distancing efforts which had brought the state’s infection rate low enough to control the outbreak.

The governor said that a total of 17,735 people were hospitalized across New York because of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, down from 18,335 a day earlier and the lowest since April 6.

A total of 606 people died from the virus on Wednesday, Cuomo, also the lowest in more than a week.

“That is still continuing at a really, really tragic rate,” Cuomo said, adding that the death toll included 29 people from nursing homes, which he called “ground zero” in the fight against the virus.

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