NYC death toll from coronavirus tops 9/11 attacks at more than 3,200

New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus eclipsed the number of those killed during the World Trade Center terror attacks on 9/11, health officials said Tuesday.

At least 3,202 people have died in New York from COVID-19, according to the count released by the city. The deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil killed 2,753 people in the city and 2,977 overall, when hijacked planes slammed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001.

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New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths, its biggest one-day jump yet, for a statewide toll of nearly 5,500, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

But Cuomo also said hospital admissions and the number of those receiving breathing tubes are dropping, indicating measures taken to force people to keep their distance from one another are succeeding.

And as alarming as the one-day increase in deaths might sound, the governor said that’s a “lagging indicator,” reflecting severely ill people who had been hospitalized before this week. During the last several days, in fact, the number of deaths in New York appeared to be leveling off.

“You see that plateauing — that’s because of what we are doing. If we don’t do what we are doing, that is a much different curve,” he said. “So social distancing is working.”

Across the U.S., the death toll topped 11,000, with about 370,000 confirmed infections. Some of the deadliest hot spots included Detroit, New Orleans and the New York metropolitan area, which includes parts of Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said if Americans continue to practice social distancing for the rest of April, “we will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

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Dr. Jerome Adams told Channel 2?s Justin Wilfon that while people should be concerned about the coronavirus, they should not be in a state of panic.

“I want the American people to know there is a light at the end of this tunnel, and we feel confident that if we keep doing the right thing for the rest of this month, that we can start to slowly reopen in some places,” he said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

One lockdown exception in the U.S. was Wisconsin, which asked hundreds of thousands of voters to ignore a stay-at-home order to participate in its presidential primary Tuesday.

The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was cautiously optimistic, saying that in New York, “what we have been doing has been working.”

Stocks climbed in early trading on Wall Street as markets around the world piled on even more big gains following their huge rally a day earlier. The S&P 500 index rose 3% in the first few minutes of trading and added on to Monday's 7% surge, following encouraging signs from some of the hardest-hit corners of the world.

Worldwide, more than 1.3 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 75,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.