As the New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo projected that the state is reaching a plateau in coronavirus hospitalizations due to strict social distancing measures.

The big picture: Daily ICU admissions, intubations and the three-day hospitalization rate have all decreased, Cuomo said Tuesday. The daily death toll jumped to 731, totaling 5,489 — the "largest single-day increase" — but Cuomo cautioned that number of deaths is a "lagging indicator" due to the length that most critical patients are in the hospital for.

Cuomo press conference

What he's saying:

"We talk about the apex and is the apex a plateau, and right now we're projecting that we are reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations. You can see the growth and you see it's starting to flatten. Again, this is a projection. It still depends on what we do, and what we do will affect those numbers. This is not an act of God that we're looking at. It's an act of what society actually does."
— Gov Cuomo

By the numbers: New York has more than 130,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus. At least 3,202 people have been killed by the virus in New York City, officially topping the death toll from 9/11, according to AP.

  • "Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is father, is a sister, is a brother. So a lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers," Cuomo said.

The big picture: Cuomo said that re-opening New York and returning people to work is "going to come down to testing." New York's Department of Health has approved an "antibody testing regimen" that tests blood to determine whether or not someone has previously had the virus and is no longer contagious.

  • Cuomo said that both the antibody tests and 15-minute rapid diagnosis tests must be "brought to scale" in order for them to make a difference.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.