Over the past 24 hours, 100 people have died from the coronavirus in New York state, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, bringing the total number of deaths to 385.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the staggering statistic Thursday morning, during his now-daily press conference on the spread of the disease. The number of hospitalized people and patients in New York’s ICUs have also soared since Cuomo’s Wednesday briefing. Then, 3,805 people were hospitalized; now, 5,327 COVID-19 patients are in the hospital.
There are currently 1,290 people in the intensive care unit, meaning they are hooked up to ventilators — a device that’s in short supply in New York. While the state now has roughly 12,000 ventilators, according to Cuomo, it is believed that the state will need 40,000 at the projected height of the pandemic.
Typically, people who need ventilators stay on them for just three to four days, Cuomo said. The average time that a COVID-19 patient, however, spends on ventilators is between 11 and 21 days.
“The longer you are on a ventilator, the more likely you’re not going to come off the ventilator,” Cuomo said. “And that is what has happened, because we do have people who have been on for quite a period of time, and those are the people who we have been losing.”
New York state now has more than 37,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, more than half of the 69,197 reported cases around the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University. The state with the next-highest number of known infections, New Jersey, has just over 4,400.
While New York now plans to build four field hospitals to deal with the surge of COVID-19 patients, including a 1,000-bed facility in Manhattan’s sprawling Jacob Javits Convention Center, Cuomo said Thursday that he hopes to create a new “overflow facility” in each of New York City’s five boroughs and four nearby counties. Each of those facilities would house an additional 1,000 beds.
Hospitals around New York City, already grappling with an onslaught of COVID-19 patients, have been ordered to increase their bed capacity by at least 50%. One of the hospitals in the Mount Sinai healthcare system has reportedly even started setting up places to treat patients in public areas of the hospital.
“We’re literally adding to the hospital capacity any way we can,” Cuomo said. He added, “Almost any scenario that is realistic will overwhelm the capacity of the current healthcare system.”
New York reported its first deaths from the coronavirus just over 10 days ago.
Cover: Medical workers outside at Elmhurst Hospital Center in the Queens borough of New York City on March 26, 2020. (Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)