COVID-19 cases rise to over 1,300 in NY; expected peak in 45 days: Gov. Cuomo

Coronavirus
Cuomo coronavirus map Tuesday March 17

Map of COVID-19 cases in New York State during Governor Andrew Cuomo's press conference on the latest.

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NEW YORK — Twelve people have died of coronavirus in New York state as of Tuesday, and the number of confirmed cases has ballooned to 1,374 — a 40% increase from the day before, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The governor predicted Tuesday that cases in the state won’t peak for another 45 days, potentially posing a major problem for the hospital system.

With 264 of the coronavirus cases in NY currently hospitalized, we are seeing a 19% hospitalization rate.

According to Cuomo and health officials, with an estimated hospitalization rate of 15% to 19%, New York will need between 55,000 and 110,000 hospital beds, with 18,600 to 37,200 of those being ICU beds.

Currently, New York has just a total of about 53,000 hospital beds, of which only 3,000 are ICU beds.

Making these numbers even more concerning is the fact that about 80% of the current beds are in use for other patients, Cuomo noted.

Watch Cuomo’s press conference in full below:

Cuomo laid out the state’s current plan of action to tackle this impending issue, including increasing hospital capacity.

The governor said one goal is figuring out how to maximize the space in current hospitals, which would mean the ability to fit more patients into rooms and across hospital space. Meetings are happening Tuesday to discuss what equipment and staffing hospitals would need to take in more patients.

As more doctors and nurses are needed, Cuomo said they are reaching out to former health care workers, as well as medical schools and nursing schools to recruit new staff.

Cuomo said retired and former health care works can head to health.ny.gov/assistance if they would like to help.

Another angle being considered is the construction of new, temporary hospitals and medical care facilities to meet the growing need. China took similar action as their numbers rose early on and saw it was effective in helping to slow the virus.

Finally, the continuing efforts to “flatten the curve” of the spread of infections by reducing the density of people through strict closures statewide.

Cuomo’s updates come a day after New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a ban on gatherings of over 50 people in an effort to combat the COVID-19 concerns.

As of Monday night, gyms, movie theaters and casinos closed in those states and will remain closed until further notice, according to the governors.

Bars and restaurants also suspended dine-in service Monday night but are still allowed to offer take-out and delivery service.

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