Gov. Cuomo to sign order allowing NYS to take ventilators from institutions as COVID-19 cases surpass 102,000

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — 102,863 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19.

14,810 of these people are hospitalized (3,731 in ICU) and 8,886 have been discharged.

So far, 2,935 New Yorkers have died. That means 562 more people died between Thursday and Friday morning — the largest day-to-day increase in deaths so far in the state.

The latest estimates say the virus could take the lives of 16,000 people. The same data projects the overall American death toll to reach 93,000.

For weeks, Gov. Cuomo 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 was extended through April 15. Many schools in western New York have decided to closed until at least April 20, though.

While this continues, the search for more hospital beds and ventilators, which help patients breathe, has been ongoing.

Right now, the state has 53,000 beds, 36,000 of which are downstate. There are about 2,200 ventilators in the state’s stockpile.

Cuomo announced on Friday morning that he would be signing an executive order that allows New York State to take ventilators, masks and gowns from institutions 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.

Anyone with supplies they would be willing to donate can either call (212) 803-3100 or email covid19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

Cuomo says New York is “planning for the battle at the top of the mountain,” which is estimated to be at the end of April. That is the time hospitals will be hardest hit with patients, according to estimates.

It is predicted that at this apex, 70,000 to 110,000 beds and 37,000 ventilators will be needed for COVID-19 patients in hospitals across New York State.

Cuomo acknowledged that this isn’t just a health crisis, but an economic one, too, commenting on his displeasure with the federal government’s $2 trillion stimulus package.

Last week, Cuomo said that with this plan, New York would get $5 billion specifically earmarked for coronavirus expenses. He says this would do nothing for the lost revenue caused by businesses in the state being closed. Of the economic challenges, Cuomo says lost revenue is the more important one the federal government should address.

The Governor called on the federal government to “address the places that need help,” saying the current Congressional action is failing to address the need.

Financially, emotionally and physically, Cuomo knows the coronavirus pandemic has been trying on peoples’ stamina, patience and stress.

“Fight the fight today, yes, but anticipate the next battle and plan for the next battle, and the main battle is at the apex,” Cuomo said Tuesday morning. “The main battle is at the top of the mountain.”

20,000 people outside New York have volunteered to come here and help out in one way or another. Cuomo promised that New York will eventually return the favor.

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