Cuomo: Coronavirus peak in NY could be in 45 days
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) warned Tuesday at a press conference that the number of coronavirus cases in the state might not peak for another 45 days.
Speaking to members of the press, Cuomo said that health experts had predicted that the state would need to devote as many as 55,000-110,000 hospital beds to the crisis, including tens of thousands in intensive care units.
“We’re entering a new phase in all of this. We’ve talked about early detection, we’ve talked about testing, we talked about containment. You see those numbers are going up. That means you’re moving towards a mitigation phase,” Cuomo said Tuesday.
“The concept is right: Flatten the curve, slow the spread so the health care system can handle it,” he added. “[But] I don’t think of a curve. I think of a wave. And the wave is going to break, and the wave is going to break on the hospital system.”
Cuomo’s comments Tuesday came as the state reported 432 new confirmed cases of the disease overnight, a sharp increase that makes New York the site of the most confirmed cases in the U.S with 1,374.
The governor added that nearly 20 percent of all cases had required hospitalization, adding that such numbers would put a strain on the state’s health care system.
“Compare that to our hospital capacity, and that will keep you up at night,” he added.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has passed 185,000 around the world, with thousands of deaths confirmed. In the U.S., health officials have warned that a larger outbreak is possible in the weeks ahead.
Cuomo said Tuesday that such a crisis will require federal resources, including those of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to address.
“I am telling you, this [state] government cannot meet this crisis without the resources and capacity of the federal government,” said the governor. “We need their help, especially on the hospital capacity issue. We need FEMA.”
President Trump has declared a national emergency, freeing up federal dollars to help state and local response teams, and has signed a multibillion-dollar emergency funding package passed by Congress.
NEW: NY Gov. Cuomo says expert projections show expected peak of coronavirus cases in New York in 45 days.
Cuomo says state will need 55,000-110,000 hospital beds and 18,600-37,200 ICU beds at projected peak, and that state currently has 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds. pic.twitter.com/PiaQ8IOHqI
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 17, 2020
At highest risk for the disease are elderly Americans and those with underlying medical conditions, Cuomo said, repeating a common refrain from federal officials.
Shortly after his press conference ended, the governor tweeted that “is an extraordinary time in our history” and that New Yorkers “will meet” the challenge.
This is an extraordinary time in our history and we need to see government & people perform at their best.
We’re not Democrats or Republicans—at the end of the day, we’re all Americans.
This is a test of our character. New York will meet it.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 17, 2020