NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Mayor Bill De Blasio praised New Yorkers for largely following social distancing rules and said Wednesday it was making a difference.

The number of ventilators required in the past few days is not as great as initially projected, and the amount of hospitalizations appears to be leveling off, de Blasio said.

As recently as Sunday, projections showed a need for 200-300 new ventilators each day. The actual number of ventilators that have been required has been closer to 100 a day.

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“What’s happened in the last couple of days is that number has come down,” de Blasio said. “We thought we would need many more ventilators to come in this week just to get through the week.”

De Blasio said that he now feels confident that New York City can get through this week with its current ventilator supply.

“We know that means we’re not out of the woods,” de Blasio said. “We are not going to say that we can actually predict next week yet, it’s still too early this week to say that. But the fact that we have confidence that we can get through this week is definitely a good sign.”

 

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New York City now has about 5,500 ventilators in the system, and a “small emergency reserve” of 135.

Some first responders who had been sidelined by the virus are returning to work, de Blasio said. There have been 276 members of the NYPD who had COVID-19 who have returned to work, and 1,310 firefighters, EMTs and paramedics who had either tested positive, had suspected cases or were exposed to the virus who have also come back.

De Blasio announced the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has pledged $3 million to help New York City’s healthcare workers.

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