COVID-19 deaths rise fast in NY amid hopeful hospital news
NEW YORK (AP) — New York COVID-19-related deaths jumped yet again by more than 700 in a day, while hospitals battling the outbreak reported encouraging news. On the economic front, New York tried to improve its overwhelmed unemployment insurance website.
Here are developments in the coronavirus outbreak.
Coronavirus deaths in New York jumped by 777 in one day, as the number of people hospitalized stayed relatively flat.
The mix of encouraging and grim news from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday has become familiar this week as people hospitalized in previous weeks die. More than 3,000 deaths have been recorded since Monday to bring the statewide count to 7,844.
The number of hospitalizations increased by 290, compared to daily increases of more than 1,000 last week. The number of intensive care patients was actually down slightly for the first time since mid-March.
There were 18,569 people hospitalized.
Cuomo said that if the hospitalization rate stays flat, New York might not need the overflow field hospitals they have been scrambling to construct recently.
New York state has about 160,000 confirmed cases, a number that only counts infected people who have been tested.
New York state is getting help from Google to overhaul a decades-old unemployment benefits system that has left laid-off workers frustrated and awaiting help.
Google helped New York design a revamped website that launched Thursday evening. The state also added 300 workers to its 700-person staff to process unemployment benefit applications.
Gov. Cuomo said the state Department of Labor’s system has crashed because of a record-shattering surge in claims amid outbreak-related layoffs.
There have been 350,000 claims in the last week. So far, 600,000 claims over the past three weeks have been successfully processed and over 200,000 are still in partial status, according to the Cuomo administration.
“Government shuts down the private sector economy. You have millions out of work,” Cuomo said Thursday. “The next shoe to drop is going to be millions of people call in for unemployment benefits, crashing the system that handles the unemployment benefits because you’ve had a hundredfold increase, which is what has happened.”
The state is also trying to reduce call volume by having state workers call up individuals to follow-up with incomplete applications. Previously, applicants who left fields blank were told to call the state’s unemployment system.