New York sees lowest Covid-19 death toll in April, but reopening would require ‘ARMY’ for contact tracing and more tests

New York sees lowest Covid-19 death toll in April, but reopening would require ‘ARMY’ for contact tracing and more tests

New York had its lowest death toll from Covid-19 since April 1, but Governor Andrew Cuomo warned a lot is still required before the state can start to reopen, including an ‘army’ of tracers and more coronavirus tests.

Though announcing 540 new Covid-19 deaths at his daily press briefing represents a fairly sharp decline from past weeks, Cuomo warned the numbers are still “soul-crushing,” and coronavirus hospitalization rates remain steady at about 2,000 new patients a day.

The governor also stressed the decline in the death toll does not mean the state is any closer to reopening and easing lockdown restrictions in place as more testing and tracing of the virus needs to be done.

But the state’s labs are struggling to get more access testing materials. 

“We asked the top 50 labs in NYS what they would need to double their testing. They all said the same thing: They need more chemical reagents,” Cuomo said, adding, “We need the federal government to oversee the supply chain and help get labs what they need.”

On tracing, which is an investigation into the origins of a disease through interviews with positive cases, Cuomo says his state is also falling short and needs an “army of thousands” to complete the task.

Testing and tracing, the governor insists, is the way to offset the disease, and he used a former Covid-19 “cluster” spot in New Rochelle, New York as an example of this. The hotspot was “cooled” through “testing and tracing,” but Cuomo insists his state needs more funding and coordination from the federal government to scale up both testing and tracing.

Some US states have begun mulling slowly easing back lockdown restrictions following President Donald Trump announcing a slow reopening of the economy in May.

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