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HFP

More than 10,000 people have died of COVID-19 in New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a coronavirus press conference at the governor';s Manhattan office on March 2 in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams/New York Daily News/TNS)

New York passed a coronavirus milestone Monday that no state would ever want to reach.

More than 10,000 New York residents have died of complications related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday morning.

The state crossed the unwanted threshold after 671 residents died on Easter Sunday, marking the ninth straight day more than 600 people succumbed to the deadly disease and further cementing New York’s position as a center of the global pandemic.

The vast majority of the deaths have been in the downstate region, where the virus has rapidly spread through the dense population of the New York City metropolitan area.

The death total is more than three times the nearly 2,800 people who died from the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

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Cuomo on Monday said the good news is there continues to be signs the virus’ curve is plateauing, with total hospitalizations remaining around 18,000 for the fourth consecutive day.

But the number of deaths in New York continues to be tragic, Cuomo said.

“The terrible news is as terrible as it gets and the worst news I’ve had to deliver as governor as the state of New York,” he said.

Cuomo said the state continues to work through the “delicate balance” of how to reopen the state to business.

Since March 22, all non-essential businesses in New York have been banned from having employees report to work in person as part of its effort to “flatten the curve.”

On Monday, Cuomo said he is hoping to develop a “reopening plan” with top experts that will apply to “as wide of a geographic area” as possible.

The Democratic governor has repeatedly said he hopes to coordinate with Connecticut and New Jersey on any plans to reopen or close schools, for example.

He will discuss reopening plans with nearby governors Monday afternoon, Cuomo said.

“To the extent we can work with Connecticut and New Jersey and Rhode Island and Delaware and Pennsylvania, I want to,” Cuomo said. “It’s better for everyone.”

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© 2020 Observer-Dispatch