New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that new evidence suggests social distancing is ‘working’ in slowing down coronavirus, with the rate of hospitalizations slowing every day this week, but that we were ‘still on our way up the mountain’.
There are now 30,000 cases of coronavirus in the state of New York, including 17,000 in the city of New York.
Across the state, there have been 285 coronavirus deaths, including at least 192 in New York City.
The current hospitalization rate is 12 percent – a worrying figure especially given the looming ‘peak’ of cases which is expected to inundate hospitals in just three weeks. Three percent of cases require ICU.
That means there are currently 888 people in the state of New York needing intensive care and experts say the city’s hospitals are already close to overrun.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo stressed the need for more equipment – specifically ventilators – but said the arrows were pointing in the ‘right’ direction.
‘Evidence suggests density control is working. On Sunday, the projection was hospitalizations doubling every two days.
‘On Monday, it was doubling every 3.4 days. On Tuesday, it was 4.7 days.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday giving an update on the coronavirus spread in New York where numbers are going up continuously but hospitalization projections are slowing down
The number of coronavirus cases in the city of New York has soared past 17,000
HOSPITALIZATION PROJECTIONS SHOWS HOW VIRUS IS SLOWING
These are the hospitalization projections Cuomo used to show how we are heading in he right direction;
Sunday: Expected to double every 2 days
Monday: Expected to double every 3.4 days
Tuesday: Expected to double every 4.7 days
WHAT IS NEEDED
120,000 hospital beds
There are currently 53,000
20,000 ICU beds
There are currently 3,000
Currently there are 7,000
‘That is almost too good to be true, but the theory is, given the density that we’re dealing with, it spreads very quickly but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread.’
Cuomo did not want to lean too heavily on the projections and said he’d seen them ‘bounce all over the place’.
‘I don’t place a great deal of stock in them but this is a very good sign and a positive sign.
‘I’m not 100 percent that it holds or that it’s accurate but the arrows are headed in the right direction,’ he said.
He warned that while many seem to be heeding his advice and not going out, there was a ‘problem’ with New York City parks and public spaces.
Over the weekend, scores of New Yorkers gathered in the parks because the weather was warm.
Cuomo, like Mayor Bill de Blasio said it had to stop.
If the city’s residents do not listen, de Blasio said he was considering closing the parks and playgrounds.
Cuomo said he does not want it to get to that but that he would close parks if he has to.
He also spoke of a trial in New York City to open streets but only to pedestrians to allow them to safely get fresh air.
He told that the social distancing was ‘burdensome’ but that if this was stopping the virus from spreading, it meant ‘everything’ to the fight against coronavirus because it means keeping the hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.
211 NYPD COPS HAVE CORONAVIRUS
211 NYPD cops have tested positive for coronavirus and more than 2,000 are out sick.
Police officers are being given masks and gloves to face the public during the crisis but some have complained there are not enough and that the supplies they are receiving are not good enough.
Fox News reports that on Wednesday, more than 2,000 cops had called out sick.
Commissioner Dermot Shea is urging the public to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the risk officers are facing.
He said that in New Rochelle, where a huge cluster of early cases was found, they had been able to ‘dramatically’ slow the spread.
Overnight, there were 800 new case there as opposed to New York City which had 5,000 new cases.
After slamming President Trump on Tuesday for only sending 400 ventilators to New York when he has said repeatedly that he needs 30,000, Cuomo struck a gentler tone on Wednesday when giving an update on the president and how the federal government has helped.
He said he was looking to turn hotel and dormitory beds into hospital beds but that existing hospitals must increase their capacity by at least 50 percent and double it if they can.
He is also turning expo-centers and large sites into makeshift hospitals. I want to thank the president and his team for their cooperation,’ he said.
Cuomo shared this graph which shows how the number of coronavirus cases in New York is rising rapidly
Cuomo is urging the president to implement what he called a ‘rolling deployment’ of resources to the states and cities that need them when they need them rather than trying to conjure up enough for everyone to battle the virus at the same time.
NYC HOSPITALS ‘MAXED OUT’
Scott Gottlieb, a doctor and MSNBC contributor, said the hospitals in New York City were already ‘maxed out’ and were yet to hit peak hospitalizations.
‘New York City hospitals right now are on the brink of what I would call being maxed out in terms of their available capacity.
‘New York has another about five weeks to go for this between now and when they’re going to hit peak hospitalizations, so the fact that they’re stretched right now is worrisome,’ he told MSNBC’s Squawk Box.
Cuomo has told all hospitals that they must increase their capacity by at least 50 percent but that he wants them to increase by 100 percent.
He is also turning hotels into temporary field hospitals and exposition center.
The USNS comfort brings an additional 1,000 beds to the system.
‘We’re also talking to the White House about another concept. New York has the greatest need in terms of numbers and critical need in terms of timing.
‘Localities are going to have different curves.
‘We are in some ways first. Our case numbers went up first. Our trajectory is first by a long shot.
‘Different regions will have their curve at different times.
‘What I said to the president and his team was look – rather than we have to provide equipment for the entire country at one time, let’s address the critical need in one hot spot,’ he said.
Cuomo added that if he can do that, then New York would be more than willing to help any other state down the line when it came to coping with the crisis when it hits them.
He also sought to explain why New York was getting so many more cases than any other state. After New York, the next highest number of cases is in New Jersey, where 3,000 have been found.
Not only is Cuomo ‘hunting’ positive cases in the state, he said it was because the virus had likely been in his state for far longer than anyone realized because it is a world hub.
National Guard troops are part of the strategy in New York City to cope with the virus; they are building makeshift hospitals
The National Guard at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Wednesday setting up an external coronavirus treatment center
‘It really is breathtaking when you think about it. Why? Is the question people ask me.
‘Two answers: because we welcome people from across the globe, we have people who came here from China, Italy, countries all around the globe.
6,000 SIGN UP TO GIVE FREE MENTAL HEALTH HELP
Cuomo heaped praise on the medical volunteers who have stepped forward since the crisis began to lend their services.
40,000 have either come out of retirement or come forward to help, including 6,000 mental health workers who will now give free advice to people through a hotline.
The hotline number is 1-844-863-9314.
Cuomo praised them as ‘beautiful’.
‘We’ve talked about the emotional stress that this brings on people. And the mental health stress, and mental health challenges. No one’s really talking about this. You know, we’re all concerned about the immediate critical need. The life and death of the immediate situation, which is right. But don’t underestimate the emotional trauma that people are feeling, and the emotional health issues.
‘We asked for mental health professionals to voluntarily sign up to provide online mental health services. Six thousand mental health professionals agreed to volunteer to provide mental health services for people who need it. How beautiful is that?
And the hotline, 1-844-863-9314, you can call that hotline, you can schedule an appointment with a mental health professional totally free, to talk to them about what you’re feeling and what stress you’re feeling.
‘God bless the 6,000 mental health professionals who are doing this 100 percent free, on top of whatever they have to do in their normal practice.
‘And I’m sure in their normal practice, they’re busy. So this is really an extraordinary, extraordinary step by them,’ he said.
‘We have international travelers who were in China, Italy, Korea. And who came here.
‘I have no doubt the virus was here much earlier than we even know. I have no doubt that the virus was here much earlier than any other state because the people come here first
‘The second answer is because we are close – we talk about the virus and how it transfers in a dense area. Literally because we are close.
‘We live close to one another. We’re close to one another on the streets. we live in close communities. we’re close to one another on the bus. close to one another in the restaurant, in the movie theater.
‘We have one of the most dense, close environments in the country.
‘That’s why the virus communicated the way it did. Our closeness makes us vulnerable.
‘That spacial closeness makes us vulnerable. But it’s true that your greatest weakness is also your greatest strength: our closeness is what makes us who we are.
‘That is what New York is. Our closeness is what makes us special; our acceptance, our openness.
‘It’s what makes us feel connected to one another, It is the closeness that makes us the human beings that we are.
‘The closeness is that New York humanity that exists nowhere else.
‘But it is also that closeness and that connection and that humanity and that sharing that is our greatest strength, and that is what is going to overcome at the end of the day. I promise you that.
‘I can see how New Yorkers are responding. I can see how New Yorkers are treating one another. I see the 6,000 mental health volunteers.
‘I see the 40,000 health care workers stepping up. I see the vendors calling me, saying, “I can help.” That’s New York. That’s New York.
‘And that, my friends, is undefeatable. And I am glad in some ways that we’re first with this situation, because we will overcome and we will show the other communities across this country how to do it.
‘We’ll be there for them. We want them to be there for us. And we will be there for each other, as we always have been,’ he said.