New York City recorded no new coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period for the first time in nearly four months on Saturday, according to preliminary data released by health officials.
The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported the news on Sunday, and many officials were quick to note it was the first day since March 13 that no one had died in the city due to the pandemic. The agency also said there were no confirmed deaths the day prior, but noted two fatalities were probable cases. The data is preliminary and could be adjusted at a later date.
Local lawmakers said that while the pandemic was far from over, the milestone was “extraordinary.”
“NYC has lost 23,283 souls to this pandemic. But for the first time since March, we lost none today,” New York City council member Mark Levine wrote on Twitter. “Thank you to the healthcare workers, essential workers and everyone who made this possible.”
New York City, once an epicenter of the pandemic, has seen daily deaths since mid-March. During a peak in April, nearly 800 people were dying each day from the virus per figures citing both confirmed and probable fatalities.
“New Yorkers have been the hero of this story, going above and beyond to keep each other safe,” a City Hall spokeswoman told Bloomberg News on Sunday. “With cases surging around the country, we know we can’t let our guard down just yet, and will continue to do everything we can to fight the virus together.”
Despite the turnaround in New York, other states across the nation have been faring far worse. Florida reported more than 15,000 cases of the virus on Sunday, the highest single-day number for any state during the pandemic as local hospitals warned ICUs were quickly reaching capacity.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged the state’s residents not to grow complacent as cases fall, telling a local radio station on Friday that the virus will likely come back. Area hospitals have expanded their intensive care units should the crisis see a second wave.
“It is going to come back here,” the governor said. “It’s like being on a merry-go-round. It’s totally predictable. And we’re going to go through an increase. I can feel it coming. And it is so unnecessary and so cruel.”
He added on Sunday that while “today’s numbers remain low and stable … it is up to us to keep it that way.”
“Being New York tough isn’t easy,” the governor continued, “but New Yorkers have shown the nation that we can effectively fight the virus when we all come together, and I urge them not to give up any ground now.”
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