The coronavirus pandemic in New York grows worse as one 24-hour period brought another 214 deaths to the state as it struggles to rework its healthcare system to deal with the crippling number of seriously ill and dying patients.
Coronavirus cases in New York state continue to dramatically climb, increasing 7,681 to 52,318 cases by Saturday afternoon, but Governor Andrew Cuomo slammed the idea that the state would be placed in quarantine.
On Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump suggested that he would place New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in quarantine but failed to mention the plan to Gov. Cuomo who he had spoken to just minutes before.
During a press conference on Saturday, Gov. Cuomo revealed that there will now be three hospitals in the state that deal only with coronavirus patients in an attempt to keep other patients who are not yet infected safe.
President Trump on Saturday morning also approved four new emergency medical sites in New York City, one for each of the outer boroughs, with the Javitts Center set to open as a field hospital with 1,000 extra beds on Monday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed that there will now be three hospitals in the state that deal only with coronavirus patients and four new emergency medical sites opened in NYC
A medical tent set up outside of Mount Sinai hospital in Manhattan where a nurse died Tuesday
General view of Elmhurst Hospital in Queens during the Coronavirus pandemic
As seen in the map released by Cuomo below, Westchester Square, SUNY Downstate and South Beach Psychiatric Center will be treating patients who have the coronavirus only.
The move comes on the advice of the New York Department of Health who believe that it is necessary to keep coronavirus patients away from other patients who may be at risk if there are infected.
Cuomo said he had spoken to President Trump just before Saturday afternoon’s press briefing and that the president had also signed off on four further emergencyb medical sites, one based in each of the outer boroughs of New York City, that will provide much needed beds the city as it deals with over a quarter of the country’s cases.
The sites will be established in Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, at the Aquaduct Racetrack in Queens, at CUNY Staten Island, and at the New York Expo Center in the Bronx.
The hospitals seen above in blue will now only be used to treat coronavirus patients
SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn will now only treat coronavirus patients
During the press conference Cuomo was questioned about comments from Trump earlier in the day in which he said he was considering quarantining New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Cuomo said that he had spoken to Trump just before the briefing and that this had not been mentioned but he didn’t like the sound of it.
‘I don’t know what it means … I don’t know how it will be enforceable. I don’t like the sound of it,’ Cuomo said.
The president made the comments as he touched down at Joint Base Andrews around noon Saturday and spoke to reporters.
The move will restrict travel to and from the three states, which are some of the hardest-hit by the outbreak.
New York cases are now more than five times greater than they are in New Jersey, which has the second highest number of cases in the United States at 8,825.
New York City accounts for 29,766 cases and had 450 deaths as of Saturday morning.
‘We’d like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot — New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined. I’m thinking about that right now,’ he said Saturday.
‘We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine — short term two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey and parts o Connecticut.’
Trump said he would speak again to Gov. Cuomo later on Saturday.
Cuomo did reveal that Trump was set to send off the USNS Comfort Saturday which would arrive in New York on Monday, providing extra beds and more medical staff.
The USNS Comfort
As New York state continues scrambling to try to amass 30,000 ventilators ahead of a projected mid-to-late-April peak in coronavirus cases, Cuomo bluntly illustrated the alternative during the conference: masks with manually operated air bags.
He said the state has bought 3,000 of them, has ordered 4,000 more and is considering training National Guard personnel to operate them. It entails pumping the bulb-like bag by hand: 24 hours a day for every patient in need.
‘If we have to turn to this device on any large-scale basis, that is not an acceptable situation,’ Cuomo said, ‘so we go back to finding the ventilators.’
Gov. Cuomo demonstrated the operation on a hand-held mask to show how much work it would take if New York hospitals were forced to rely on them instead of on ventilators
Cuomo said the state has bought 3,000 of them, has ordered 4,000 more and is considering training National Guard personnel to operate them but that he would prefer ventilators
The federal government has sent over 4,000 ventilators to the state and New York City this week.
Cuomo also said he was delaying the state’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 23, when the state plans to hold legislative congressional and local party primaries.
‘I don’t think it´s wise to be bringing people to one location to vote,’ the Democrat said.
New York joins over a dozen states that have delayed some elections. A smaller group including Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Indiana and Kentucky have also postponed their presidential primaries.