Encouraging signs from New York state: The daily coronavirus death toll has fallen below 500 for the first time since April 2 and new cases are down to 4,726, the lowest single-day total in a month. In his morning briefing Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that with the pandemic past its peak in the state, authorities are trying to figure out how gradual the descent in cases will be, the New York Times reports. “Nobody knows. Just as nobody knew how long the ascent was, nobody can tell you how long the descent is." The total number of statewide COVID-19 deaths now stands at 14,347, by far the highest in the US. Also Monday, Cuomo proposed a 50% hazard pay bonus for first responders and other essential workers, per ABC7.
The first coronavirus infection in New York state was confirmed 51 days ago, and there are now almost 250,000, NBC New York reports. Cuomo warned Monday that the infection rate will have to decrease further before the economy can be safely reopened. "The worst thing that can happen is for us to go through this hell all over again," Cuomo said. "Think about what we’ve gone through. Think about how many New Yorkers we've lost and are still losing. We must tread very carefully." Most of the deaths have been in New York City, where Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that major June events including the Puerto Rican Day Parade and the Pride March's 50th anniversary have been postponed. "We will do it at the right time," the mayor promised. (Read more coronavirus stories.)