Virus death toll drops to 5 in NY, once the US epicenter

NEW YORK (AP) — Five people died Saturday from the coronavirus in New York state, a death toll Gov. Andrew Cuomo called “the lowest number we have had since this started.”

Saturday's total compared to 13 fatalities the day before as the number of fatalities caused by the virus continues to plummet in the state. During the peak of the pandemic in April, nearly 800 people were dying a day from coronavirus.

“We are on the exact opposite end,” Cuomo said in an interview with NBC's “Meet the Press.” “We have less than 800 people in hospitals — lowest number basically since we started.”

The governor cautioned, however, that the numbers could spike again if New Yorkers let down their guard down and fail to follow social distancing and mask-wearing requirements.

“I’m now afraid of the spread coming from other states because we are one country and people travel,” Cuomo said. “I’m afraid the infection rate in the other states will come back to New York and raise that rate again.”

Confirmed daily infections in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 on Friday, prompting officials in Texas and Florida to reverse course and close down bars in their states again.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stressed that “the window is closing” for the U.S. to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.