New York state virus toll tops 4,000 with 594 new deaths in 24 hours

New York (AFP) –


The coronavirus death toll in New York state rose to 4,159, the governor said Sunday, up from 3,565 a day prior.

The spike by 594 deaths showed a slight decrease in the day-to-day number of lives lost compared to the previous day.

It was the first time the day-over-day toll had dropped -- on Saturday it hit a record of 630 deaths in 24 hours -- but Governor Andrew Cuomo told journalists it was too early to tell whether that was a "blip."

The peak of the pandemic in New York -- the US area hardest hit thus far by the fast-spreading virus -- could arrive over the next week, Cuomo said, though he cautioned it was still unclear if the apex would be a point or a plateau.

"We could be on that plateau right now," Cuomo said at his daily briefing.

"We won't know for the next few days, does it go up, does it go down."

The state has now reported 122,031 positive cases of COVID-19, which has much of the United States under stay-at-home orders.

New York City remains the nation's epicenter but the governor warned over the weekend that nearby hotspots were emerging on Long Island and in the neighboring state New Jersey.