Mar 25, 2020 - Health

Cuomo projects apex of coronavirus hospitalizations will be in 21 days

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared projections on Wednesday that suggest the state can expect to reach its "apex" for novel coronavirus hospitalizations in 21 days.

Why it matters: The number of cases in New York is expected to continue surging for weeks, even as President Trump suggests that parts of the country should lift social distancing restrictions by Easter — 18 days away.

What he's saying:

"What we're studying is what is the high point of that line, what is the apex of that line? That is the point of the greatest number of people coming into the hospital system. So that's our greatest load, is the apex. And when is that going to happen? Again, that is a projection. Again, that moves around. But the current projection is that could be in 21 days."
— Gov. Cuomo

The big picture: New York has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., with more than 30,000 cases as of Wednesday morning. Cuomo said the state needs 140,000 hospital beds, but currently has about 53,000.

  • He has also warned the state is short of the 30,000 ventilators needed to manage the crisis.

The state of play: The governor pointed to evidence suggesting that social distancing is working, as the rate of people who need hospitalization has slowed in recent days.

  • "This past Sunday, the projection was that hospitalizations were doubling every two days," Cuomo said. "On Monday, the numbers suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 3.4 days. On Tuesday, the projections suggested that the hospitalizations were doubling every 4.7 days."
  • "The theory is given the density that we're dealing with, it spreads very quickly, but if you reduce the density, you can reduce the spread very quickly."
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