COVID-19 cases in NY surpass 25K, urgent need for ventilators, federal assistance

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — There are now 25,665 cases of COVID-19 in New York state, up by 4,760 from the last official count Monday.

Of the 25,665 confirmed cases, 3,324 have required hospital treatment. Of those patients, 756 are being treated in an Intensive Care Unit — about 23%. At this time, there have been more than 200 deaths related to COVID-19 in New York.

“Those ICU patients require ventilators, that’s why we need ventilators,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

New York remains No. 1 in the nation in confirmed cases by a wide margin with 25,665 total confirmed cases. No. 2 is New Jersey with 2,844, followed by California with 2,230 and Washington state with 2,101.

Gov. Cuomo said the state is seeing the rate of infections double every three days — he called it a dramatic increase in the rate of infection.

“We were looking at a freight train coming across the country, we’re now looking at a bullet train,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The governor said the rate of infection is higher than projected and the peak is approaching faster than previously thought. According to the governor’s office, New York’s rate of cases is doubling every three days.

“The apex is higher than we thought, and the apex is sooner than we thought,” Gov. Cuomo said. “That is a bad combination of facts.”

With the spike in cases, the governor says the need for hospital beds and health care staffing is of immediate and urgent concern.

“I will turn this state upside down to get the number of beds we need, but we’ll need the staffing too,” Gov. Cuomo said.

The governor has reached out to retired health care professionals for additional assistance.

“We are going to the entire retired community, health care professionals and who are licensed, registered and we’re saying ‘we want you to enlist to help,’” Cuomo said Monday.

Cuomo is calling on the federal government to deploy a stockpile of 20,000 ventilators.

“Release the ventilators to New York,” Cuomo said. “How can we be in a situation, you could have New Yorkers possibly dying because they can’t get a ventilator, but for a federal agency saying ‘I’m going to leave the ventilators in a stockpile’ — have we really come to that point?”

The governor pointed to the staggering amount of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York compared to the rest of the country. He says the federal government should send the stockpile to New York now, and then ship them elsewhere to wherever the need is greatest.

“I will take personal responsibility for transporting the 20,000 ventilators anywhere in this country that they want, once we get pass this apex, just don’t leave them in a stockpile,” Cuomo said.

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The governor pointed out that FEMA has pledged 400 ventilators, but scoffed at the amount based on the need.

“FEMA is sending us 400 ventilators — you want a pat on the back for sending 400 ventilators?” Gov. Cuomo said. “What are we going to do with 400 ventilators when we need 30,000! You’re missing the magnitude of the problem.”

The governor said Monday his team is looking for ways to get the economy moving forward.

“We have to start to think about does everyone stay out of work? Should young people go back to work sooner? Can we test for those who had the virus, resolved and are now immune, and can they start to go back to work?” he questioned.

MORE | COVID-19 county by county: Keeping track of local cases throughout the region

Full press conference:

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