Cuomo

Cuomo

ALBANY — The number of New Yorkers who have been infected by the COVID-19 virus grew to 30,811 Wednesday, with 3,805 of them admitted to hospitals, according to the latest state data.

The infection total rose after 5,146 confirmed cases were reported over the past day.

New York hospitals now have 888 virus-positive patients being treated in intensive care units.

An estimated 12 percent of those who have tested positive are being treated at hospitals.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated  80 percent of those who have tested positive will "self resolve," meaning they will not require being admitted to hospital.

The number of infections in New York has been doubling about every three days. Cuomo said there are indications social distancing measures are helping to slow the spread.

"The arrows are headed in the right direction," the governor said, citing indications the spread has slowed in Westchester County, the state's first hotbed for the contagion.

"We have dramatically slowed what was an exponential rate of increase,” the governor said, adding: “That was the hottest cluster in the United States of America. We closed the schools, we closed gatherings, we brought in testing. We have dramatically slowed the increase.”

On Tuesday, Cuomo projected New York would experience its peak of coronavirus infections in 14 to 21 day. He revised that estimate Wednesday to project the apex will arrive in about 21 days.

So far, 285 people have died in New York due to the virus, he said.

Cuomo again said New York — the nation's epicenter of the contagion — has a desperate need for more ventilators to assist in what is projected to be rapid spike in patients requiring treatment in hospital intensive care units.

The number of New Yorkers who have been tested to date for coronovirus is now 103,479.

The brunt of the infection has landed in the downstate region. The number of people who have tested positive for the virus in New York City reached 17,856 — more than half of the state total. Two Long Island counties, Nassau and Suffolk accounted for 416 and 380 cases, respectively.

The county with the largest cluster outside New York City remained Westchester.

Cuomo has asked President Donald Trump to use existing federal law to order private companies to manufacture ventilators and other supplies needed by hospitals. 

On Monday, one upstate firearms manufacturer, Remington Arms in the Herkimer County city of Ilion, advised both the Trump administration and Cuomo administration that its manufacturing facility could be used in the production of hospital supplies.

“We would be honored to donate our facility to the production of ventilators, surgical masks, hospital beds or any other products mission-critical to the war on coronavirus,” Ken D’Arcy, Remington's chief executive officer, said in letters to Trump and Cuomo. “These products as you know are essential to winning this new kind of war and Remington stands ready to enlist in wartime production.”

Cuomo said New York needs about 30,000 additional ventilators. He acknowledged the state has acquired 4,000 ventilators this week from the federal government while procuring an additional 7,000 of the devices through its own efforts.

In response to the state's call for medical professionals to assist in the effort to beef up the health care's ability to respond to the needs, an estimated 40,000 people, many of them nurses, have signaled they stand ready to volunteer their services, the governor said.

In addition, 6,175 mental health professionals have signed up to provide online counseling to New Yorkers needing therapeutic services as a result of the public health and economic calamity.

Because of the downstate region's COVID-19 outbreak, federal officials are urging people who leave New York City to put themselves in self-quarantine for 14 days and avoid getting close to other people when they get to their destinations.

This is a developing story that will be updated as events unfold.

Joe Mahoney covers the New York Statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites. Reach him at jmahoney@cnhi.com.

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