Cautious Optimism in NY as Coronavirus Hospitalizations Decrease

Coronavirus Press Brief

In Thursday's daily briefing, Governor Cuomo announced a record number of deaths in the state, 799, and on Friday the Governor announced that 777 more people have died from coronavirus.

As the death toll in the state remains high, hospitalizations in New York are steadily decreasing. Governor Cuomo expressed cautious optimism that social distancing is helping to flatten the curve of the virus.

There are 10,575 new cases in the state bringing the total number to 170,512.

While New York on PAUSE is helping to slow the spread, businesses have been forced to lay off or furlough workers causing a dramatic increase in unemployment claims. The state unveiled a new unemployment application website at 7 on Thursday night, after thousands of New Yorkers were unable to get through the application process. The state announced that they have received 350,000 unemployment claims within the last week and 810,000 claims since March 9th, with more than 200,000 claims still in limbo.

As thousands of New Yorkers are facing desperate financial circumstances, Governor Cuomo announced $200 million in additional funding to expand the food stamp program in the state.

In the Capital Region, Albany County's death toll has risen to 12 with 426 positive cases. 91 people have tested positive in Rensselaer County, 191 in Schenectady County and 182 in Saratoga County.

Meanwhile, Albany Medical Center is looking for plasma donors who have fully recovered from the virus in hopes of finding a treatment. Convalescent Plasma Therapy takes plasma from a survivor of an infectious disease and uses antibodies that are potentially able to attack the virus. This treatment was used during the 1918 Flu Pandemic, which has been repeatedly compared to the spread of COVID-19. Albany Medical Center's first plasma donation was collected from an Albany Med employee and was administered to a critically ill coronavirus patient.

Now, Albany Med is looking for additional plasma donors for further research. To determine eligibility, fully recovered COVID-19 patients can call the Medical Center at 518-262-9340.

Photo: The Governor's Office

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