Coronavirus: New York Confirms More Than 20,000 Cases, Cuomo Says

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday forecasters are warning him that the spread of coronavirus is now looking like a "bullet train" as the number of confirmed cases in his state "is doubling about every three days".

Previously, Cuomo has said that the expected highpoint of the outbreak could require as many as 110,000 hospital beds across the state.

"We must dramatically increase the hospital capacity to meet that highest apex, and we have to do it very quickly", he added. NY can now conduct more than 16,000 tests a day, the governor said.

As he announced those sobering numbers, Cuomo reiterated that NY, the US epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, needs to sharply increase hospitals' capacity to treat patients.

Cuomo says while he is ordering hospitals to increase capacity by 50%, a move that he says will provide 75,000 beds, he is asking hospitals to try and increase by 100%.

"I will turn this state upside down to get the number of beds we need", he vowed, suggesting that SUNY and CUNY college dormitories, as well as hotels, could be converted to host patients and the medical staff assisting them.

"The inescapable conclusion is that the rate of infection is going up, it is spiking". "What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000?" he asked, per NBC New York.

Cuomo has reiterated the state's hospital bed capacity is approximately 53,000, and he has been working with the federal government to supplement that number. The state has 3,000 ICU units; health officials say it needs at least 18,000 - and possibly as many as 37,000.

Cuomo said Tuesday that the federal Food and Drug Administration authorized the experimental procedure.

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In New York state, 2,635 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized - 13% of the state's total. Fifteen people have died, with "dozens more" being treated in intensive care units.

Trump also said Sunday he'd ordered FEMA to ship mobile hospital centers to all three states, along with supplies such as gloves, hospital beds, N95 masks and gowns.

He said the state is also calling on retirees and all other professionals in the medical field to help monitor those beds.

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The university tracked 13,119 cases in New York City alone.

"We all believe thousands and thousands of people have had the virus and self-resolved", Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the Federal Emergency Management Agency so far has agreed to send 400 ventilators.

Public and private labs in the US have confirmed more than 40,000 coronavirus cases, according to a COVID-19 dashboard created by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, which reports coronavirus numbers in near real time. Cuomo said people's blood will be tested to see if they have developed antibodies to COVID-19.

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