Mar 27, 2020 - Health

New York's race against the clock on coronavirus

Inside the Javits Center in NYC. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Inside the Javits Center in NYC. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

With much of America ground to a halt, the state of New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.

Why it matters: The state is bracing for a peak in coronavirus hospitalizations in mid-April, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday.

  • The governor wants 8 temporary hospitals set up in short order, in addition to dramatically expanding the number of beds at existing hospitals and other facilities, including the renowned Javits Center in New York City.

The startling numbers, per Reuters:

  • 519 New Yorkers have died of coronavirus, an increase of 134 since Thursday.
  • The state has 44,635 confirmed cases, including 7,400 reported since Thursday.
  • Nearly 1,600 of those patients are in ICUs, up 22% from Thursday, the N.Y. Times reports. Most of those patients are on ventilators.
  • Hospitalized cases are doubling every 4 days. Last week it was every 3.
  • The state has 53,000 hospital beds. It wants 153,000 before the apex.
Screenshot of Cuomo press conference
Screenshot of Cuomo press conference

The big picture: New York needs "20 million N-95 masks, 30 million surgical masks, 45 million exam gloves, 20 million gowns and 30,000 ventilators, all astronomical amounts compared to New York’s current stockpile," the Times reports.

The bottom line: As cases mount in other states — and until manufacturers can catch up — states will be forced to compete for precious ventilators.

  • On an individual level, this may feel like a moment to despair.
  • But there is something you can do, if you are able: Stay home and help buy time for America's manufacturers to catch up.
hospital beds
Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

Go deeper: Axios coronavirus dashboard

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