New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press briefing about the coronavirus crisis at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health in Manhasset, NY.

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Coronavirus deaths in New York remain “horrifically high,” even as some projections of the state’s outbreak suggest it may be on the verge of a “descent,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany on Monday.

Some 478 New Yorkers died from the virus on Sunday, a decline from the daily death toll at the disease’s peak when nearly 800 residents a day were dying, Cuomo said. A total of 507 people in the state died on Saturday, and 540 deaths were recorded Friday.

There were 1,380 new Covid-19 hospitalizations in New York on Sunday, a slight tick down from 1,384 on Saturday, Cuomo said.

He stressed the importance of testing, announcing that his government is “starting the largest antibody testing ever done today.”

“Testing is going to require everyone to work together,” Cuomo said, noting that the effort will require close cooperation between states and the federal government.

Cuomo also urged New Yorkers to continue following the state’s strict social distancing policies, even as warmer weather tempts more people to venture outdoors.

“They will come out with warmer weather,” Cuomo said. “That contact will increase the virus spread.”

The governor warned that when public activity increases, the rate of infection will spread.

Beaches, public facilities, schools would be “magnets” for the virus if public activity increases too quickly, Cuomo said. “Everything is closed unless we say otherwise.”

Still, the measure used to gauge the infection has declined to a level that marks a slowdown, Cuomo said. “That’s what we have to watch until we have a medical treatment or a vaccine, that’s when this is really over.”

On Sunday, Cuomo said the state plans to roll out antibody testing this week to determine who has already been infected, conducting the “largest survey of any state population that has been done.”

Cuomo said the Food and Drug Administration approved the state’s antibody test, which is designed to detect whether a person has developed the antibodies to fight Covid-19 and indicates they may be immune against the disease. He said the state will conduct “thousands” of tests this week.

The antibody tests will give the state its “first true snapshot” of how many residents have been infected with Covid-19, Cuomo said.

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