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New York's coronavirus death toll has remained "obnoxiously and terrifyingly high," Cuomo says

Cuomo: Virus death toll has remained "terrifyingly high"
Cuomo: Virus death toll has remained "obnoxiously and terrifyingly high" 00:47

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that 299 people died due to the coronavirus on Friday. That marked a slight uptick from 289 deaths the day before – the first day in weeks that the single-day death toll had dropped below 300. 

"The number that I watch everyday, which is the worst, is the number of deaths," Cuomo said. "That number has remained obnoxiously and terrifyingly high, and it's still not dropping at the rate we would like to see it drop."

He said the number of overall hospitalizations and new hospitalizations per day had decreased.

Cuomo also discussed a statewide antibody study, with 15,000 people sampled. He said it found that 12% of people sampled in the state had been infected with COVID-19 as of May 1. He said this showed a decrease in cases from last month.

Cuomo also said that New York City subway cars will be cleaned every 24 hours, and that public transportation workers in New York City will receive regular antibody tests.

"They are stepping up in a big, big way," Cuomo said about MTA employees. At least 98 MTA workers have died of COVID-19.

Cuomo was asked about how four-hour subway closures every night would affect the homeless New Yorkers who normally sleep on the trains.

"You are not helping the homeless by leaving them on a subway car in the middle of a global pandemic," Cuomo said, adding that he believed it was an "opportunity" to connect homeless people with resources. However, he said that handling this issue would be up to the city government.

The governor announced that the state would distribute $25 million to foodbanks across the state, with the majority going to the New York City region. However, he said the "state budget is very stressed," and called on philanthropies to help vulnerable demographics in the state.  

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