The death toll in New York State has reached 10,056, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, following a one-day increase of 671, a decline off previous peaks and a sign that containment efforts were effective.
“I think you can say the worst is over,” Mr Cuomo said, referring to the death toll. “We have control of the spread.”
He added that the curve appears to have flattened, along with the slowing death rate.
“The infection numbers are now on a plateau in the state hardest hit by the pandemic,” he said.
Across the U.S., more than 22,000 people have died from complications related to the new coronavirus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The governor stressed the control over the spread was contingent on continued social distancing but the state could now begin to plot a path back to normalcy.
He, however, cautioned that this would take time and only come in stages.
Mr Cuomo said he was working with the governors of neighbouring states to coordinate a plan for reopening businesses and schools, in order to best ensure containment.
An announcement was expected later in the day.
He described reopening as a “delicate balance,” that will require intensive testing and monitoring to ensure there is not a resurgent outbreak.