That staggering toll represents a triple-digit hike from the 285 cases Cuomo reported on Wednesday, among 37,258 confirmed cases now tallied statewide.
“This is the really bad news,” said Cuomo in his now-daily Albany press briefing. “That’s the worst news you can have.”
The grim death tally includes 281 in the Big Apple, according to city statistics current as of Thursday morning.
With the worst of the contagion still expected to be at least two to three weeks out, Cuomo said that the state is working to establish at least one 1,000-bed overflow hospital in each of the five boroughs, plus Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.
It’s projected that the state will need at least 140,000 hospital beds at the disease’s peak, easily more than double New York’s 53,000 permanent beds.
“I don’t want to sugarcoat the situation,” said Cuomo. “But easy times don’t forge character, it’s the tough times that forge character.
“And that’s what we’re looking at right now.”