ALBANY (TNS) — New deaths in New York due to the coronavirus were below 500 for the third day in a row on Tuesday even as the overall death toll climbed past 15,000.
A total of 474 people died in the state on Tuesday, down from 481 on Monday. The virus has now killed 15,302 people in New York.
“The number of lives lost is still breathtakingly painful and the worst news that I have to deliver every day,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today during a press briefing in Albany. “But at least it’s not going up anymore and it seems to be on a gentle decline.
“When you look at the reality of the situation, we are actually in a much better place. We’re not home yet, but we’re in a better place.”
While the overall death toll is still rising, the pace has slowed since reaching a peak of 799 new deaths on April 8. Sunday was the first time since April 1 new deaths fell below 500.
Just three weeks ago, single-day coronavirus deaths totaled 253 and just a month ago, the statewide death toll was 157. New York now has 257,216 confirmed cases of the virus, including 5,526 new cases.
The state has been seeing hopeful trends in hospitalization statistics since early April. The total number of hospitalizations has been steadily falling and dipped below 16,000 for the first time in weeks on Tuesday.
Net intubations declined by 41 people on Tuesday. It was the 10th day in a row the net change in intubations was negative.
The raw number of new people entering hospitals with coronavirus has dropped as well, although it remains high, Cuomo said. The total on Tuesday was 1,366. The number hasn’t been that low since late March.
Cuomo has said the more positive trends show the state’s efforts to slow the virus are working. He previously extended the closure of schools and nonessential businesses until at least May 15.
All New Yorkers should stay home as much as possible and should only go out for exercise or needed errands like grocery shopping or medical care. Social, religious and other gatherings must be canceled or postponed.
“The really bad news would have been if we concluded that we couldn’t control the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. “That was a possibility.”
He said again New York must move cautiously with any plan to reopen businesses or schools.
“What we do today, you will see the result in three, four or five days,” he said. “It is that simple. It’s that pressing that every decision we make is going to affect how we come out of this, how fast we come out of this.”
DO-NOT-RESUSCITATE ORDER RESCINDED
New York state has revoked a do-not-resuscitate guideline for cardiac patients due to the coronavirus pandemic
The New York Post reported Tuesday that a state Health Department memo issued last week told paramedics not to try and revive anyone without a pulse, despite previously being told to spend up to 20 minutes trying to save people found in cardiac arrest. The memo said the change was “necessary during the COVID-19 response to protect the health and safety of EMS providers by limiting their exposure, conserve resources, and ensure optimal use of equipment to save the greatest number of lives."
In a statement sent to The Post-Standard on Wednesday, the health department said it has “rescinded” the order because it doesn’t reflect state standards.
“This guidance, proposed by physician leaders of the EMS Regional Medical Control Systems and the State Advisory Council — in accordance with American Heart Association guidance and based on standards recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians and adopted in multiple other states — was issued April 17, 2020 at the recommendation of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and reflected nationally recognized minimum standards. However, they don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded," the statement said.
First responders objected to the do-not-resuscitate guideline, according to the Post. An unnamed FDNY EMS worker told the newspaper that only about three or four out of every 100 patients with no pulse are able to be brought back to life through drugs and hospitalization, but “for those three or four people, it’s a big deal."
ABC reported earlier this month that the Regional Emergency Services Council of New York was told not to transport anyone to NYC hospitals if they cannot be saved in the field, due to an overwhelming number of coronavirus patients with ambulance crews and emergency rooms struggling to keep up.
“It almost seems like it’s never stopping, people keep coming and coming and coming and there’s just no space to put them,” ER Dr. Darien Sutton told ABC.
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