NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York is bracing for what the U.S. surgeon general warns could be the most difficult week so far of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are more than 122,000 cases statewide, and more than 4,100 people have died. Nearly 65,000 of the cases are in New York City, where more than 2,400 have died.
The state is expecting 600,000 N95 masks for medical personnel to arrive from the federal government today.
More than 300 military medical personnel, including doctors, nurses and respiratory therapist from across the country, arrived in the city to provide relief to hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. A total of 1,000 are being deployed to New York.
“I’m telling you beyond everything you do to save lives, just showing up, you’ll be amazed how much gratitude you’re going to encounter from these New Yorkers,” de Blasio said.
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The Empire State – the epicenter of the pandemic – has been drowning in devastating news of increasing cases and deaths. But on Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered some hope, saying the number of covid-related deaths fell from Saturday to Sunday and hospitalizations were the lowest they had been since March 20.
Perhaps a sign that things are turning the corner, the governor said the number of patients recovering and being released from the hospital went up astronomically.
“We could be either very near the apex, or the apex could be a plateau and we could be beyond that plateau right now,” said Cuomo. “We won’t know until the next few days. Does it go up? Does it go down?”
The governor said right now finding more hospital beds is not an issue, but finding enough ventilators and health care workers remains a major problem.
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The mayor said after making cautious projections of the city’s needs, he initially predicted hospitals would run out of ventilators by Sunday night, but later said the city’s medical supplies could last until Wednesday.
“We have 135 ventilators in our reserve. We are holding those for very rapid deployment to where they’re needed most around the city. And that honestly can happen in a matter of hours,” he said. “But that’s the entire reserve we have left for all of this city of 8.6 million people.”
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Despite improvements statewide, Long Island has seen a spike in cases. Cuomo urged all New Yorkers to continue social distancing efforts during the religious holidays.
“You can’t have large gatherings. And just because it’s a religious gathering, the virus is not a religious virus,” he said.
Later this morning, the mayor will visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where local companies are manufacturing thousands of protective hospital gowns.