Death Toll Up, Hospitalizations Down In New York's Coronavirus Fight

Elias Hubbard
April 8, 2020

At his press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo stated that 17,493 patients were hospitalized in New York State as of Monday April 6, more than 7,000 fewer than the current version of the IHME model projects for Monday.

Despite the staggering death toll in America's largest city, authorities in NY were optimistic that the outbreak might finally be easing, as has been seen in other global hot spots such as Italy and Spain and before that, China.

An error in the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force became apparent on Tuesday when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there are now 90,000 available hospital beds in the state, 77,000 more than the IHME model states are available.

The antibody tests still need to be approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration before they can be used in NY.

Cuomo also noted the 1918 flu epidemic peaked in NY for six months, killing 30,000 of the state's residents.

Hospitals are also using backup measures such as splitting ventilators to support two patients instead of one.

With 90,000 regular hospital beds now available, NY has a surplus of more than 72,000 regular hospital beds, not a shortage of 11,716 regular hospital beds as the IHME model claims. Cuomo said in Tuesday's press conference.

In Wisconsin, after a legal battle that reached the Supreme Court, voters were asked to ignore a stay-at-home order to participate in its presidential primary.

The governor said NY would need to scale up its testing capacity to test a large number of residents and announced the state would invest in testing companies working to expand capacity.

New York City's death toll from the coronavirus rose past 4,000 on Tuesday, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Cuomo said officials would look ahead to restarting the economy but noted that the state was not there yet because coronavirus deaths were still happening at a high rate.

Cuomo says the shutdown of schools and businesses, which will continue until at least April 29, has likely slowed the spread, and he says the rate of transmission of the disease is now dependent on everyone sticking to the social distancing rules. "Social distancing is working". You can see the growth and you see it's starting to flatten. "Which is good news".

The US was prepared this week for what one official called the "peak death week" of the coronavirus.

But, Cuomo stressed, such steps can't begin until a more comprehensive approach to testing has been hammered out.

Trump reiterated at a White House briefing he wanted to reopen the U.S. economy soon. "I know that it's hard, but we have to keep doing it".

Washington state appears to be on the downward slope of its case curve and has even sent 400 ventilators to NY, but its governor Jay Inslee said he feared a second wave because of the ongoing patchwork response.

"I haven't been outside for more than 70 days", said an emotional Tong Zhengkun, who was watching the display.

In the nation's second-largest city, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday ordered workers providing "non-medical" essential services, such as supermarket employees, wear face coverings while on the job. Photos taken in Brooklyn showed riders sitting or standing within inches of each other, some not wearing face masks.

"Being indoors for so long drove me insane", he said.

"We have more than enough beds available", the governor said, while saying that health care staffing is an issue with workers who are getting sick and are suffering from emotional stress.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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