After recent signs that the state’s cases might be reaching a plateau, New York has reported its highest single-day coronavirus death toll yet. On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that 731 patients died on Monday, as the state grapples with the health crisis.

“Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a brother, is a sister,” Cuomo said during a press conference. “So, a lot of pain again today.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, New York has seen nearly 139,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began, resulting in nearly 5,500 deaths. The majority of both have come from New York City, which has seen over 72,000 cases and nearly 3,500 deaths.

Even as the death toll spikes, signs are still emerging which point to the virus leveling off in the state. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced lower-than-anticipated numbers of patients on ventilators in local hospitals. The state has also seen lower overall admissions to intensive care units.

According to Cuomo, this spike in deaths is more indicative of earlier spikes in confirmed cases and not of the current state of the virus. Patients that died Monday may have been diagnosed or hospitalized a week ago.

“We have to start planning restarting life,” Cuomo said. “We are not there yet. This is not a light switch we can just flip one day and everything goes back to normal.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, pictured in March 2020, cautioned that now was not the time to be "lax." Photo: AFP/Bryan R. Smith