Cuomo: COVID-19 Apex Expected in 14 to 20 Days
In his daily press conference this morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the increase in the number of novel coronavirus has accelerated to the point where it's doubling every three days, despite all efforts to flatten the curve of transmission.
Cuomo said one expert who specializes in projections about the virus told him: "We were looking at a freight train coming across the country we’re now looking at a bullet train."
Despite exercising all options "as aggressively as we can," from closing businesses and schools to having all but essential workers remain at home, the curve is increasing and the apex is expected to be reached sometime int he next 14 to 21 days.
The main problem right now is a lack of hospital beds, Cuomo said. The state has 53,000 beds 3,000 ICU beds, and approximately 40,000 intensive care unit beds, currently. The expected need was projected at 110,000 beds, but now that number might be as high as 140,000.
The governor has directed hospitals to increase capacity by at least 50 percent, and is stressing that 100 percent would be better, though that still won't necessarily meet the need.
Cuomo was speaking from the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, flanked by two generals from the Army Corps. of Engineers. The center is being turned into an emergency hospital. The governor said he is also looking at repurposing SUNY and CUNY dorms as well as hotels to be used to treat sick New Yorkers.
"I will turn this state upside down to get the number of beds that we need," the governor said, while also stressing that there will be a need for health care staff across the state - especially to provide backup to the current team of professionals working overtime to address the pandemic.
New York has an acute shortage of ventilators, which the governor said cannot be addressed without help from the federal government. He said the White House has a stockpile of 20,000 ventilators that should be released ASAP and sent to New York, which now has 25,000 CPVID-19 cases.
New York is also leading the nation in testing, with 91,270 tests completed - 12,906 new tests since the last update the governor provided.