NEW YORK:Scrutiny over New York’s Covid-19 response has deepened after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state recorded its highest single-day increase in virus deaths on Tuesday.
The 731 deaths reported brought the total to 5,489 deaths and 138,836 infections.
Authorities faced questions over their actions for at-risk people after an infected inmate at Rikers jail died.
Michael Tyson, 53, died waiting for a hearing over a non-criminal offence.
As of Monday, 286 inmates and 331 staffers in New York City’s jails have tested positive for the coronavirus.
The outbreak in New York City’s jail system is one of the worst at correctional facilities throughout the US, just as New York state leads the country in both total Covid-19 cases and deaths since the virus reached the US.
The governor disclosed that New York, which has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, saw its highest number of fatalities in a 24 hour period between Monday and Tuesday.
The change came after the state had seen two days of slowing infection rates and fewer deaths.
However, the governor said the three day average for cases had fallen. However, he warned that New Yorkers must continue to follow health guidelines to socially distance and stay indoors.
“We need to vigorously maintain it. Lives depend on it,” he said.
He asked New Yorkers to avoid large gatherings as religious holidays Passover and Easter approach.
Mr Cuomo has so far ordered the release of at least 1,100 prisoners. Responding to questions on Tuesday, an aide to the governor said the state was “continuing to evaluate” the situation in New York’s jails in relation to the virus.
Tyson, of New York’s Bronx borough, was the first inmate to die of Covid-19 at Rikers Island, one of New York’s largest prisons.