New York is said to be the epicenter of the US virus contagion…..their hospitals are getting overwhelmed…..
New York once again saw a spike in the number of deaths and hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, a bleak trend for the epicenter of the US’s outbreak, per the AP. The state’s death toll jumped by 100 in one day, pushing the number to 385, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday. He added that experts expect the number to increase as critically ill patients who have been on ventilators for several days succumb to the virus. “That is a situation where people just deteriorate over time,” Cuomo said. “And that is what we’re seeing.” There are now more than 37,000 confirmed cases in the state. More than 5,300 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide as of Thursday, a 40% increase from the day before. Nearly 1,300 patients were in intensive care, a 45% increase.
The state is expanding its search for temporary hospital beds in the New York City region amid sharpening fears that area hospitals will be overwhelmed. Cuomo said the state wants a 1,000-plus patient overflow facility in each of the city’s five boroughs along with Westchester and Rockland counties north of the city and Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. State and city officials are scrambling to increase hospital capacity from about 53,000 beds to up to 140,000 beds with the peak of the outbreak expected within weeks. Cuomo said the state also is scouting dormitories and hotels for emergency beds. Read the full story for more details on the state’s strategies, including the expected arrival of two military field hospitals.
Speaking of epicenters…..we may soon have a new one and not New York……New Orleans may get the call…..
With the number of coronavirus cases in New Orleans multiplying rapidly, concern has been building that the city will become the next place to be overwhelmed by the pandemic. A Tulane Medical Center physician said Thursday that question has been answered, Fox News reports. “As far as fears it could be the next epicenter: I think that, unfortunately, I kind of think we are there,” Dr. Joshua Denton said. New Orleans now has 997 cases; only 13 states have more. Of those patients, 676 are in hospitals and 83 have died, per WDSU. Louisiana has a total of 2,305 cases. One study found that in the two weeks after the state’s first case was confirmed, per the New York Times, the disease’s growth rate in Louisiana was the fastest in the world.
The first confirmed cases in New Orleans were among people who hadn’t been out of town. The city’s health director said doctors realized quickly that the cases “were not directly linked to each other”—they were dealing with community spread. Medical experts think they know at least one reason. “I think it all boils down to Mardi Gras,” said Dr. F. Brobson Lutz Jr., a former city health director. “The greatest free party in the world was a perfect incubator at the perfect time.” Crowds were in New Orleans for weeks for the celebration, which ended Feb. 25. Having endured a long list of disasters, and fearing another inadequate federal response—as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina—residents fear this could be worse, partly because New Orleans wouldn’t be the only place suffering. “This hurricane’s coming for everybody,” a community organizer said.
More bad news for the nation…..we are number one once again…..
It was just a matter of time, and the unwanted milestone came Thursday evening: The US now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other nation, according to Johns Hopkins University. The US count of 82,404 surpassed that of China (81,782) and Italy (80,589). After that comes a drop-off, with Spain at about 57,000 and Germany at 43,000. Italy still has the most deaths (more than 8,000), while the US total climbed above 1,000 on Wednesday. Other developments:
- New guidelines: President Trump said Thursday that federal officials are developing guidelines to rate counties around the US as low, medium or high risk, reports NPR, which has the full text of Trump’s letter to governors about it. The idea is to help state and local officials with decisions on decisions about “maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures,” says the letter. Increased testing may play a key role in refining those guidelines.
- Presidential visit: Trump announced Thursday that he will visit Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday to watch the departure of a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship being deployed to New York City to help relieve pressure on hospitals, reports the Hill. “I’m going to go out and kiss it goodbye,” said Trump.
- China call: Trump also said he would speak with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday night. It would be their first talk since February, when Trump praised China’s response to the outbreak, notes the New York Times. He has since begun referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” but he said Thursday that “I don’t have to say it if they feel so strongly about it.”
- No alarm yet: At Thursday’s White House task force briefing, response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx sought to play down fears of a dire shortage of hospital beds and ventilators in the coming weeks. “To say that to the American people, to make the implication when they need a hospital bed, it won’t be there, or when they need that ventilator, it won’t be there, we don’t have evidence of that right now.” (New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo might disagree.)
Seems the news from the streets does not match the glowing reports from the president…….
More to come……
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