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NEW YORK CITY — New York saw its highest daily death toll this week with 779 lives lost to novel coronavirus in a single day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. But this sad news came with signs of hope as hospitalization rates decreased across the state.
"What we have done and what we are doing is working and is making a difference," Cuomo told New Yorkers. "But the bad news is actually just terrible."
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The high number of deaths broke a record set just one day ago when Cuomo announced 731 New Yorkers had died in 24-hours.
In New York City, 3,544 people had died and 74,601 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed as of April 7, city records show.
Cuomo linked the rising death toll to the length of time vulnerable patients have spent on ventilators, which can cause lung damage over extended periods, and warned New Yorkers will continue to die.
"When you get up tomorrow morning," said Cuomo, "The news could be just as bleak.”
The governor also disparaged newly released city data that show Hispanic and Black New Yorkers are more likely to die from COVID-19 and promised the Department of Health would increase testing in communities of color.
"The disparity we're seeing in New York is nothing like we're seeing in the rest of the country," Cuomo said. "It always seems the poorest people pay the highest price."
Cuomo also directed the Labor department to make $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits available to all New Yorkers.
Cuomo noted hospitalizations continued to decrease in recent days but warned New Yorkers not to expect his stay-at-home order to be withdrawn within the near future.
"If we continue doing what we're doing, we believe the curve will continue to flatten," Cuomo said. "I want people to remember we're flattening that curve."