Cuomo still defends policy of filling nursing homes with coronavirus patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces updates on the spread of the coronavirus

Mr Cuomo announced on Friday that groups of up to 10 people could gather "for any lawful purpose" anywhere in the state, including New York City. "By any normal standard this is a disgusting number".

Long Island is on track to open Wednesday, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the Mid-Hudson area, just North of New York City, will reopen on Tuesday if the death total continues to decrease and tracing programs are ready.

"In my head, I was always looking to get under 100", Mr Cuomo said, speaking from the governor's mansion in Albany. "You want to be below 100'".

The latest COVID-19 numbers in NY show the lowest levels of death since March, and other metrics indicating the state is making headway as it battles the world's highest levels of infection.

Cuomo said 22 people died in nursing homes, but blamed federal guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for putting COVID-19 patients from hospitals into nursing homes.

But the state has for several weeks experienced an overall decline in deaths, and many regions are beginning to reopen under the governor's four-phase plan for easing restrictions.

The city's beaches will remain closed for the long Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally marks the beginning of the United States summer season.

Cuomo said state beaches opened on Friday, and early reports were visitors adhered to social distancing guidelines.

Pedestrians use an umbrella to protect themselves from the rain as they walk along Sixth Avenue during the coronavirus pandemic, Saturday, May 23, 2020, in NY.

There are now 5,250,658 cases officially recorded, with 339,172 deaths attributed to the virus.

During the height of the outbreak in April, more than 1,000 people a day were losing their lives in worst-hit U.S. state.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization, probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.



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