NY Sees Over 1,000 COVID-19 Fatalities, Cuomo Calls On Other States For Help

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 30, 2020 - 2:00 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York State’s death toll from coronavirus topped 1,000 on Monday, less than one month after the first known infection.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed there are 66,487 total coronavirus cases in the state with 1,218 deaths – up from 965 on Sunday.

He said while New York City has the most cases in the state, they are not the only ones battling the virus.

“Anyone who says that this is a New York City problem is in a state of denial,” Cuomo said.

He stressed no American is immune to the virus and called New York “a canary in a coal mine” warning others about what is to come.

Cuomo notes that the rate of doubling in the state has slowed slightly, with the doubling occurring every six days.

However, the apex is still expected to hit in a matter of weeks and New York is preparing a stockpile of supplies now to ensure the healthcare system is prepared for the coming crisis.

“This virus has been ahead of us since day one, we have been playing catch up since day one, and you don’t win by playing catch up,” Cuomo said.

He said crucial protective supplies are being sent to hospitals every day, but more staff is desperately needed.

“We need to recruit more healthcare workers, we need to share more healthcare professionals within the state and within the country,” Cuomo said.  “Help New York. We’re the ones who are hit right now.”

The governor called on other states that are not dealing with a crisis to send their healthcare workers to New York to help, adding that “we will return the favor.”

The state’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, said current models still project thousands of deaths in New York state from the outbreak.

Cuomo echoed that estimate, adding "I hope I'm wrong."

“I don't see how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away,” Cuomo said.

RELATED: Map Shows Areas Of NYC Hardest Hit By Coronavirus

The virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has torn through New York with frightening speed. The first known infection in the state was discovered March 1 in a health care worker who recently returned from Iran. Two days later, the state got its second case, a lawyer from the suburb of New Rochelle.

By March 10, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared a “containment area” in New Rochelle that shuttered area schools and houses of worship. That same day, the metropolitan area saw its first fatality: a man who worked at a harness track in Yonkers and lived in New Jersey.

By March 12, the state had banned all gatherings of more than 500 people, darkening Broadway theaters and sports arenas. A day later, the first New York resident died, an 82-year-old woman with emphysema.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio closed New York City's schools March 15.

More severe restrictions came March 20, when Cuomo ordered all nonessential workers to stay home — a directive he has since extended until April 15, barred gatherings of any size and instructed anyone out in public to stay at least 6 feet from other people. At the time, only 35 New Yorkers had been killed by the virus.

That was only nine days ago.

It took Spain 18 days to go from its first death to its 1,000th, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Italy took 21 days. New York state took 16 days.

The governor said projections show New York City will hit the "apex" of cases first and the state is preparing by building temporary emergency hospitals across the five boroughs.

The 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is also arriving Monday to help ease some of the pressure on the area's strained hospital systems.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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