Governor Cuomo called a spike in coronavirus patients on Long Island "troubling," as cases in Nassau County surpassed 10,500 on Thursday and deaths from the disease nearly reached 100, County Executive Laura Curran said.
Statewide, more than 92,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19, with every county across the state reporting cases.
Cuomo suggested that other parts of the country could see the disease spread in ways similar to New York. “In many ways,” he said, “New York state is a microcosm of the rest” of the United States.
The peak of infections, the governor said, is expected to come within seven to 21 days, which he said was a broad range that is frustrating planning because of the uncertainty built into mathematical models. “We are literally planning on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
The state currently has a total of 53,000 hospital beds, with 36,000 of them downstate, according to the governor. “By any estimate, we don’t have anywhere near the beds” that may be needed, he said.
Cuomo said the state could use college dormitories and hotel rooms to set up temporary hospital rooms. “Beds are easy to find,” he said. The challenge will be providing the staff and supplies needed to treat all of the patients who are expected to need hospitalization.
He also predicted that the number of new infections could drop dramatically once the state reaches its apex, but he added that the state could continue to see new cases arise into August, only at a lower rate.
Two positive notes:
Cuomo noted that, statewide, 7,400 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, and there is a rising rate of discharges.
He also said that 21,000 medical workers from across the country have volunteered to treat patients in New York. “I thank them…,” Cuomo said. “These are beautiful, generous people, and New Yorkers will return the favor.”
In total, some 85,000 medical workers — 64,000 from New York — have volunteered to help.