Cuomo Warns That Peak of Crisis Is Still to Come: Live Updates

Cuomo Warns That Peak of Crisis Is Still to Come: Live Updates

Governor Cuomo said that the crisis would peak in New York in the coming days.

With the coronavirus having claimed more than 3,560 lives in New York, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo warned Saturday the state was still days away from the peak of its outbreak.

“Nobody can tell you the number at the top of the mountain,” Mr. Cuomo said, but estimated that it would be “in the seven-day range.” He said the state was not yet prepared for that point.

“It feels like an entire lifetime,” he said. “I think we all feel the same, these stresses, this country, this state — like nothing I’ve experienced in my lifetime.”

During his daily briefing in Albany, Governor Cuomo tried to encourage New Yorkers not to lose hope even as he said he expected the numbers of those infected and dying from the disease to continue to surge.

“This is a painful, disorienting experience,” he said. “But we find our best self, our strongest self — this day will end. We will get through it, we will get to the other side of the mountain. But we have to do what we have to do between now and then.”

Governor Cuomo offered signs that many New Yorkers are overcoming the virus: Two-thirds of the people who had been hospitalized after reporting coronavirus-related symptoms have been discharged, Governor Cuomo said.

“We are all in the battle here and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus,” he said.

The number of hospitalizations was increasing at a slower rate, as well: The number of patients currently hospitalized in New York increased by only 7 percent since Friday, the smallest increase in at least two weeks. From March 22 to 28, for instance, the number of people hospitalized was rising by an average of 27 percent per day.

Here are some other updates from Mr. Cuomo’s briefing:

Deaths in New York State: 3,565, up from 2,935 on Friday morning.

Confirmed cases: 113,704, up from 102,863. In New York City, 63,306, up from 57,169.

Hospitalized in New York State: 15,905, up from 14,810.

In intensive care: 4,126, up from 3,731.

  • Officials are focused on Long Island as its number of cases grows rapidly — Mr. Cuomo called it a “fire spreading.” Because of the increase in cases on Long Island, New York City’s share of the statewide cases dropped to 65 percent, from 75 percent. Governor Cuomo did not know whether it had to do with city residents fleeing there.

  • About 1,000 ventilators are set to arrive in the city from China on Saturday, which Mr. Cuomo attributed to a Chinese government effort. A separate order for 17,000 ventilators placed in China fell through, he said, with only 2,500 materializing.

  • Oregon said it would give New York 140 ventilators.

  • New Jersey, which has more than 29,000 cases and has reported more than 640 deaths, has a “serious problem,” Mr. Cuomo said.

  • The federal government will be focusing its resources on the conversion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into a coronavirus treatment facility, providing staffing and equipment. Mr. Cuomo said he spoke to the White House about this on Saturday.

  • Mr. Cuomo said New York was currently counting on 85,000 health care volunteers — about 22,000 of them coming from out of state — to assist with the growing number of patients, he said. He also signed an executive order Saturday to allow medical students who have not yet graduated to practice medicine in an effort to provide reinforcements. “We need doctors, we need nurses,” he said. “So we are going to expedite that.”

De Blasio compares coronavirus crisis to “many Katrinas.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio repeated his calls on Saturday for a national enlistment system to help move doctors and health care workers across the country to areas with high need, saying New York City was heading into “the toughest time” in the weeks ahead.

“This is going to be like having many Katrinas. This is going to be a reality where you are going to have many cities and states simultaneously in crisis, needing health care professionals, needing ventilators,” Mr. de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” adding that the thinning ranks of health care workers was the biggest problem in New York’s coronavirus response.

The mayor has said that the city would need 45,000 more medical personnel to fight the pandemic through April and May.

City-run hospitals in New York desperately need specialized critical-care nurses in particular, said Dr. Sheldon H. Teperman, director of the trauma center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi in the Bronx.

Those nurses have special training to work in intensive care units, aiding severely ill patients on ventilators and operating pumps that deliver multiple intravenous medicines needed to keep them stable.

The epidemic has thinned their ranks, with nurses themselves falling ill or needed to care for sick family members. “If we could get critical-care nurses, if volunteers would just come, we could save more lives,” Dr. Teperman said.

On Friday evening, the New York City sent a wireless emergency alert — usually used for extreme weather or Amber Alerts — asking medical personnel to volunteer to fight the virus.

“Attention all healthcare workers: New York City is seeking licensed healthcare workers to support healthcare facilities in need,” the message said.

As of Monday, 1,000 people had died in New York. Soon, that number will be 3,000.

The number of cases in the state had almost doubled since last Friday. The number of people hospitalized and the number of patients on ventilators have both more than doubled since then.

New York City cancels spring break, angering thousands of teachers.

New York City education administrators made official on Friday the news more than 75,000 of the city’s teachers were dreading amid the pandemic: Spring break is officially canceled.

The news from Department of Education officials angered many teachers who were pleading for a short break during the Passover and Good Friday holidays.

Representatives of the city’s powerful teachers union expressed their disappointment.

“With this step, Mayor de Blasio shows that he does not recognize just how hard you have been working during these stressful and anxiety-filled times,” United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew wrote in a scathing email to his members after officials made the announcement.

The schools chancellor, Richard A. Carranza, promised a reprieve of four leave days at an undetermined time in the future.

“We recognize this may feel like a disappointment to many students and schools as we have all been working tirelessly in our transition to remote learning and very reasonably want a break,” Mr. Carranza wrote in an email to teachers.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had warned last month that spring break could be called off for schools statewide as the state grappled with an increasing number of school closures to stop the spread of the virus.

New York City’s vast system of 1,800 public schools that serves 1.1 million students — the largest in the country by far — continues to face its most serious challenge in decades with a remote learning operation that could potentially last through the end of the school year.

The city’s vulnerable student population, including 114,000 homeless children, many of whom rely on the meals offered at schools, have been especially affected.

Coronavirus is straining the post office.

A stagehand who worked in Manhattan said his and his wife’s unemployment benefits were “languishing” on debit cards sent to their post office box in Manhattan, despite repeated requests to forward their mail to Suffolk County, where they are staying.

A college professor on the Upper West Side trying to mail iPads to students said he found his nearest post office was “Closed. Locked up. No sign on the door.”

And an assemblyman from the Bronx said mail service was so bad in his neighborhood that he asked for his paycheck to be sent to his son’s home in a neighboring ZIP code.

The coronavirus outbreak has heightened New Yorkers’ reliance on deliveries as they stay home to prevent the spread of the virus. It has also put a deep strain on the United States Postal Service, whose letter carriers are considered essential workers.

The two Navy hospital ships deployed to aid cities hit hard by the pandemic, the Comfort and the Mercy, could end up accepting patients who test positive for the coronavirus, Defense Department officials said Friday — a turnaround from the previous policy that sought to keep the ships virus-free.

General Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that the Defense Department was reassessing whether to allow coronavirus patients aboard the ships. They had originally been intended to treat patients who did not have the virus in order to free up space in onshore hospitals.

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