More than 138,000 COVID-19 cases confirmed in NY as hospitalizations appear to be reaching plateau

Around New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — In New York, more people died due to the coronavirus between Monday morning and Tuesday than any day prior, bring the death toll to 5,489.

On Monday, that number was 4,758.

Overall, 138,836 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, but when comparing the average hospitalization rate of the past three days to previous weeks, there is a drop — a positive sign regarding the virus’ spread.

That hospitalization rate appears to be reaching a plateau, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes social distancing is the reason for it.

For weeks, the Governor has been making changes in how everyday life operates.

This includes the closure of all schools and telling hospitals to increase their capacity by 50 percent, with a goal of 100 percent.

Originally, schools were told to close until April 1, but that has been extended through April 29. Non-essential businesses will also be closed through that date as well, due to Cuomo’s New York State on PAUSE order.

Anyone caught violating New York’s social distancing protocols will be fined $1,000.

The search for more hospital beds and ventilators, which help patients breathe, has been ongoing, but is showing positive results. Cuomo says the state has about 90,000 beds right now. It’s not clear how many ventilators and pieces of personal protective equipment are available, but Cuomo says there are currently enough for hospitals, as of Tuesday.

This past Friday, Cuomo announced that he was signing an executive order that allows New York State to take ventilators, masks and gowns from hospitals and other care facilities that don’t need them, and deploy them in places where they’re needed.

The institutions will either get the supplies back afterwards, or they will be reimbursed. It is not yet clear how, or if, this will impact western New York.

Speaking on the state’s future, Cuomo says that New York is working with New Jersey and Connecticut on a tri-state effort to “restart life.”

Details were few, but Cuomo says it will not be like “a light switch that you flip one day and everything goes back to normal.”

“We need to start planning, restarting life…We’re going to have to restart a lot of systems and we need to plan for it,” Cuomo said. “It’s going to come down to how good we are with testing. You’re not going to end the virus before you start restarting life.”

The New York State Department of Health has approved a type of antibody testing that determines if someone had the virus and recovered. If it is approved by the FDA, Cuomo says New York will be able to “bring it to scale.”

Anyone with personal protective equipment or other supplies they would be willing to donate during this pandemic can either call (212) 803-3100 or email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

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