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Coronavirus Update: New York May Already Be At Or Near Its Apex Of Cases, Cuomo Says; Deaths Drop For First Time

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York may already be at or near its apex of cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

"We're looking at this seriously now, because by the data we could be either very near the apex, or the apex could be a plateau, and we could be on that plateau right now," Cuomo said. "We won't know until we see the next few days -- does it go up, does it go down -- but that is what the statisticians will tell you today."

WATCH: Gov. Cuomo's Daily Coronavirus Briefing

Cuomo said there's an "interesting blip" in the data as the total number of new hospitalizations is 574, "which is obviously much lower than previous numbers."

WEB EXTRA: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Presentation (.pdf)

More than 302,280 people have been tested for the coronavirus and at least 122,031 are positive in the state, Cuomo said. There are 16,479 patients currently hospitalized and 4,376 people in the ICU.

At least 12,187 patients have been discharged.


There have been 4,159 deaths, up 594 from the day before.

"But the number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping for the first time. What is the significance of that? It is too early to tell," Cuomo said.

As for where the cases are occurring?

"There is a shift to Long Island. Upstate New York is basically flat. And as Long Island grows, the percentage of cases in New York has reduced," Cuomo said.

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

Cuomo said 1,000 medical personnel being sent by the federal government will be deployed first to New York City public hospitals.

Cuomo said New York has adopted a "surge and flex" approach to the hospital system: Surging the amount of hospital beds, staff and equipment, and flexing the entire system to be used in a different way than it has been before.

"The operational challenge for the health care system is impossible, because the system is over capacity all across the board. It's just over capacity," Cuomo said. "They are being asked to do the impossible.

"The only way we can make this work is if we flex the system so that we take all hospitals, all hospital networks... and we work together as one system, which has never been done," Cuomo added.

Patients may be taken from hospitals that are overcapacity to ones that still have room, but may not be in their community, Cuomo said.

"The concept here that people have to get is that nobody can handle this alone. Nobody," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said he believes that is the model the nation will ultimately take as well.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Inside NYC's Viral 'Warzone'

"There's not enough in the federal stockpile to take care of New York and Illinois and Texas and Florida and California. It's just not an option. The only option I see is there's a national deployment. Everyone says this is wartime. It is a war, and the virus is the enemy. Help New York today... and then nationally, we shift the resources to the next place that is most impacted," Cuomo said.

"I think you see the return to normalcy when we have an approved rapid testing program that can be brought to scale," Cuomo said. "It's under development now... that is going to be the answer, I believe."

Cuomo discussed the cabin fever that comes along with people being stuck at home.

"It's a real thing. Think about it. It's only been one month," Cuomo said.

He said he's going to resume running as a "positive intervention" for cabin fever.

With the holidays of Easter and Passover upon us, the governor is urging New Yorkers not to gather with family members who they do not live with.

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