The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Suffolk County has reached 2,735, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Total cases in New York now stands at 37,258, a figure that would rank sixth among all countries that have reported cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
At his daily press briefing Thursday, Mr. Cuomo spoke of the economic fallout of the pandemic and said the estimated loss of revenue for the state is between $10 billion and $15 billion. He criticized the recent federal action as falling short to accommodate the state’s needs beyond the money targeted specifically for COVID-19 expenses.
He said the state will receive $5 billion for COVID-19 expenses, but it “does nothing for lost revenue.”
He said the $2 trillion Congressional stimulus plan “did not help local governments or state governments.”
“The Congressional action, in my opinion, simply failed to address the governmental need,” he said. “I spoke to all the officials involved. I spoke to the House delegation, I spoke to our Senators, and I believe what they did failed to meet the governmental need. I find it irresponsible. I find it reckless.”
Some highlights from Thursday’s briefing:
• Mr. Cuomo said new sites are being scouted in the downstate area to accommodate a 1,000+ bed overflow facility. He said the goal is to have a facility with that capacity in each downstate county and the city boroughs.
• The state continues to shop for ventilators and new approved technology will allow for splitting current ventilators to serve two patients.
“It’s not ideal, but it’s workable,” Mr. Cuomo said.
He also said anesthesia machines are being converted to be used as a ventilator.
He said there’s no current estimate of when exactly all ventilators would be exhausted. The maximum projection needed was about 40,000 and there’s currently about 12,000, not counting new additions through splitting and anesthesia machines.
A typical patient who requires a ventilator needs the device for three-four days, he said. However, COVID-19 patients are on ventilators for 11-21 days.
• Testing continues to increase. On Wednesday, a total of 18,650 tests were conducted. There’s been one test per every 160 people in the state. As of Wednesday, about 25% of the nation’s testing has been done in New York.
In Suffolk on Wednesday, a total of 1,189 tests were conducted.
“Testing is not telling you how many people have the virus,” Mr. Cuomo said. “It’s not even telling you the increase in rate of infection.”
He reiterated that by increasing testing, more positive results will be found so people can then be isolated.
• The number of deaths in New York continues to increase, which Mr. Cuomo said is to be an unfortunate reality at this point of the outbreak. The longer people are on a ventilator, the greater chance of a bad outcome and that the person will not come off it.
He said there are currently 1,290 ICU patients in the state and 5,327 patients hospitalized.
The death total in New York, according to Johns Hopkins, is 366.
• Mr. Cuomo said the outpouring of support from people across the country and world “has been so inspiring.”
He said 12,000 people in one day volunteered to help on the medical staff, bringing the total to 40,000. A total of 8,600 mental health professionals, some from other states, have offered to provide services through telehealth.
“It gives me such strength, such inspiration,” he said.
• Mr. Cuomo said while he understands people may be growing tired of the current circumstances and isolation, the situation is “not a sprint. It’s a marathon.”
“We always said this was not going to be over quickly.”