N.Y. coronavirus death rate declines; de Blasio says protests won’t affect reopening

Health officials added six new symptoms to the official diagnosis of the COVID-19 coronavirus Monday, expanding the list to nine. Illustration courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

May 31 (UPI) — New deaths and hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York have decreased in the past 24 hours, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said protests in the city won’t affect reopening plans.

During his daily coronavirus briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state recorded 56 coronavirus deaths within the past 24 hours, down from 67 on Friday and a high of 799 on April 9, adding that new hospitalizations fell to 191 down from a peak of 3,400 per day as the pandemic reached its height.

“This reduction in the number of deaths is tremendous progress from where we were,” he said.

New York leads the United States in coronavirus deaths and cases with 23,905 deaths and 370,770 positive cases. The state doesn’t count probable causes of death though New York City cites thoses figures. The total toll is 29,784, according to Johns Hopkins tracking.

The United States leads the world with a death toll of 104,081 and 1,779,853 cases nationwide, according to figures by Johns Hopkins University.

Also Sunday, de Blasio said he does not believe the protests against police brutality sparked by the Minnesota police-involved killing of George Floyd that have seen thousands of participants will impact plans to reopen the state but health experts encouraged protesters to use masks and gloves to protect themselves and to get tested for the virus.

“We strongly encourage anybody who is out in the protests to wear a mask, practice proper hand hygiene and to the extent possible, socially distance, though we know that’s not always going to be feasible,” said Dr. Theodore Long, who is leading the city’s contact tracing efforts.

In neighboring New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said 66 people died within the last 24 hours, down from 113 the previous day for a total of 11,698. The state also reported 868 new positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of 160,445.

Michigan on Sunday reported 28 new coronavirus deaths, down from 57 the previous day for the fifth highest death toll in the country at 5,491. The state also added 513 new cases for 57,397 — eighth in the nation.

Pennsylvania reported the fourth highest death toll with 5,555 deaths and 71,926 total cases.

California reported 4,213 total deaths and 110,583 total cases.

As of Saturday, Massachusetts had reported 6,768 deaths and 96,301 cases and Illinois reported 5,330 deaths and 118,917 cases and California reported.

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