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Coronavirus cases continue to rise in NY; peak could happen end of April

Office of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo

The number of coronavirus deaths in New York state more than doubled in 72 hours to 1,941.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that projections show the outbreak worsening through the month. He said during his daily briefing that several projection models show the apex of the coronavirus pandemic will occur at the end of April.

And some models, based on a minimal impact from social distancing, show that 110,000 hospital beds and 37,000 ICU beds will be needed. Both are well over the state's capacity.

Cuomo said that no one knows for sure, but one model projects 16,000 people will die in New York from the virus. He said that means there will be tens of thousands of deaths outside of New York.

``This model projects you're going to have a high death rate through July. If this model is correct, this could go through the summer," Cuomo told reporters.

Looking ahead, Cuomo says we should be looking at how this experience is going to change us, and how it should change us. He said it will be transformative on many levels, and we're not going to be the same again.

``Our challenge is to make sure that transformation and that change is positive and not negative. Let's make sure we're taking the positive lesson and not the negative lesson," Cuomo said.

The governor said he would close New York City playgrounds to slow the spread of the virus, leaving green spaces open. And he said overburdened hospitals in hard-hit downstate areas have begun transferring patients north to the Albany area.

Cuomo also talked about his brother, CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who has tested positive for COVID-19. The governor said his brother has flu-like symptoms, but is home and is doing ok.

Cuomo said it's a good example that anyone can get this disease. "I couldn't protect my own brother."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Alex Crichton is host of All Things Considered on WXXI-FM 105.9/AM 1370. Alex delivers local news, weather and traffic reports beginning at 4 p.m. each weekday.