Cuomo Orders All Hospitals To Increase Capacity By 50 Percent

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 23, 2020 - 6:22 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all hospitals to increase their capacity by a minimum of 50 percent and encouraged them to increase their capacity by 100 percent.

"Find more beds, use more rooms," Cuomo said in a press conference on Monday morning. 

Cuomo said that the state is currently testing 16,000 people per day. Currently, there are 20,875 cases in New York State, with 12,305 in New York City. 

There have been 157 deaths from the coronavirus in the state. Currently, 13 percent of those with the virus require hospitalization. 

"The greatest density control issue right now is in New York City," Cuomo said, saying he had asked the city to develop a plan to address crowding in outdoor spaces, with a particular focus on younger people.

Cuomo also addressed the lack of medical supplies and equipment, saying that the state was sending hundreds of thousands of masks, gloves and gowns around the state, most to New York City. 

"Today, we can get masks to anyone who needs them, and gowns," Cuomo said. "I can't promise you next week or the week after." 

The governor encouraged the federal government to invoke the Defense Production Act so that states are not competing with each other for limited supplies. He also pointed to New York's much higher rate of infection, saying that the government must "fund the need" for provide support to the state.

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Cuomo also said that they were moving ahead with four emergency hospitals, as well as experimenting with drug therapy and antibody injections.

He also said they were considering clemency for elderly prisoners. 

The governor's team clarified that no gatherings of any kind, including wedding and birthday parties, are allowed. 

Cuomo also showed messages filmed by celebrities like Robert de Niro and Danny DeVito that encourage people to stay home.