New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Friday said the coronavirus pandemic has hit a "plateau," as the curve of hospitalizations in the state begins to flatten.
The governor urged caution, however, in assuming the virus was on the downslope. He noted that often pandemics come in waves, and said that the U.S. should look to other countries around the world to learn from their experiences in restarting their economies.
Cuomo also stressed that putting New Yorkers back to work hinges on the level of testing that is available across the state.
"It's going to be a gradual, phased process, and it's going to be reliant on testing," he said.
The Department of Health is currently doing 300 tests per day, according to Cuomo. The goal is to ramp that up to 1,000 per day by next Friday and 2,000 per day the following week.
"That sounds like a lot, but 2,000 tests is still a drop in the bucket," he elaborated.
Cuomo urged the federal government to invoke the Defense Production Act to help produce the "millions" of tests necessary to send people back to work safely.
"We have nine million people we'd like to get back to work," he said. "You need more than several thousand tests per week if this is going to happen anytime soon. Private sector companies on their own won't be able to come to scale."
"You're going to need government intervention to make that happen, and the federal government is in the best position to do that," he added.
There have been a total of 161,807 confirmed cases and 7,844 deaths — 777 over the past 24 hours — in the state.