The COVID Crisis: 12 Die As State’s Hospital System To Be Overwhelmed, Cuomo Says

March 17, 2020

Twelve New Yorkers have died and the number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus spiked yet again to 1,374 cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Ten thousand people have been tested and, since Monday, 432 new positive cases were confirmed newly, said Cuomo said to Patch.

“The situation changes daily now which is expected,” Cuomo said. “Life has turned upside down.”

In New York City, seven people have died, 644 positive cases have been diagnosed (187 newly) and 4,000 tested, Cuomo said.

With 264 people hospitalized, New York’s hospitalization rate higher than the normal 15 percent by 4 points, which Cuomo said confirmed predictions that the state’s hospital system will be overwhelmed by COVID-19.

“There is a curve,” Cuomo said. “I’ve said that curve is going to turn into a wave and the wave is going to crash on the hospital system.”

The expected peak is about 45 days and the state will need between 55,000 and 11,000 hospital beds, Cuomo said.

The state needs between 18,000 and 37,000 ICU beds, equipped with ventilators which are proving difficult to procure.

“That, my friends, is a problem,” Cuomo said.

The lack of hospital beds is why Cuomo will likely order greater restrictions on social interactions in the weeks to come, he said. But the governor denied rumors New York City might face a quarantine.

“It’s possible we will be doing more dramatic closings,” said Cuomo. “I have no plan whatsoever to contain New York City.”

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