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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo provides a coronavirus update during a press conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

While the COVID-19 curve in New York is starting to flatten, Cuomo says we can’t stop what we’re doing just yet.

In his daily coronavirus briefing, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that due to social distancing and the other measures put in place by the state, New York is starting to see the curve bend in the number of coronavirus cases when compared to previous projections.

“What we have done and what we are doing is working an making a difference,” said Cuomo.

Cuomo noted that since New York went on PAUSE and began to enforce social distancing, hospital capacity has increased 50 percent. Cuomo stated that should the number of cases continues to decrease, the hospital system should begin to stabilize. He also noted that hospitals are starting to release more patients than they are taking in.

However, despite the good that has happened so far, Cuomo reiterated that now is not the time to get lax with social distancing.

“We still have more to do,” said Cuomo. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

However with the good news came the bad: according to Cuomo, April 7 saw the highest daily count of coronavirus-related deaths so far with 779 total. April 6 saw 731 total deaths while April 5 saw 599.

Cuomo stated that New York State has 6,268 deaths – the 9/11 terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 2,753 people. As a result, Cuomo is ordering that all flags be flown half-mast for those who have died of coronavirus.

According to data from the state Health Department, the coronavirus deaths are greatly affecting the Hispanic and black communities — in New York City alone, the Hispanic community suffered 34 percent of the city’s COVID-19 deaths and the black community suffered 28 percent of deaths (outside of NYC, the Hispanic community suffered 14 percent of the state’s deaths and 18 percent of deaths came from the black community). As a result, Cuomo is ordering that New York State’s Department of Health team up with Northwell Health and SUNY Albany’s Dr. Havidan Rodriguez increase research efforts to see why minority communities are being more affected than others.

In an effort to continue to enforce social distancing throughout the state, all New Yorkers will be able to absentee vote for the June 23 primary. Cuomo also announced that all unemployed New Yorkers will receive an additional $600, and unemployment insurance coverage will be extended from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.

This story originally appeared on amny.com

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