New York City ER Visits Level Out as New Virus Cases Pour In

March 25, 2020 Updated: March 26, 2020
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A sudden spike in emergency room visits in New York City for breathing difficulties and flu-like symptoms has somehow leveled out over the past few days, just as the daily numbers of new cases of the CCP virus continue to climb.

About 3,300 New Yorkers a day now visit an emergency room (ER) with symptoms such as cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. About 1,400 a day report symptoms such as fever, and sore throat. That’s up from about 1,400 and 500 respectively a month ago.

The numbers started to shoot up in the second week of March and are still climbing, though they seem to have been leveling out since March 20.

Meanwhile, the daily numbers of new virus cases in New York City are still rising dramatically from 459 new cases reported on March 17 to 2,649 reported on March 22, to 4,414 on March 25.

The CCP virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, broke out in Wuhan, China, around November and was allowed to spread around the world due to the coverup by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

New York has now become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, with 30,811 confirmed cases statewide and 20,011 in New York City as of March 25.

The city’s ERs haven’t seen anything like this in recent years, not even during the harsh flu season of 2018. Around its peak, over 2,500 people visited ERs with respiratory issues each day.

This time, the workload is mitigated by fewer patients coming with other problems. ER visits have halved in recent weeks for people with symptoms of asthma, diarrhea, and vomiting, according to data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

New York state is 14 to 21 days from its peak of infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on March 24.

The state will need 140,000 beds to manage the epidemic, Cuomo added. That’s more than double what the state has, according to the American Hospital Directory.

Hospitals in the city have about 22,000 beds. So far, about 3,000 have been hospitalized due to the virus and 199 died in the city.

Projections for future hospitalizations have somehow improved in recent days. Projections on Sunday showed hospitalizations doubling every two days. Projections on Monday showed them doubling every 3.4 days and projections on Tuesday showed them doubling every 4.7 days, Cuomo told reporters in Albany.

Social distancing measures like forcing the closure of non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay home with some exceptions appear to be working in combating the spread of the virus, he said.

“That is almost too good to be true. But, 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.”

Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers is converting four sites in the state into hospitals, including one in the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which should have a capacity of 1,000 beds.

Additional capacity will come from the USNS Comfort, a military hospital vessel with a 1,000-bed capacity that is being dispatched to New York City Harbor by the U.S. Navy.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying field hospitals in the state as well.

The tightest bottleneck seems to be the number of ventilators that keep people breathing during acute respiratory problems that the virus causes in some patients.

The federal government is sending 4,000 of the ventilators from a federal stockpile to New York state, President Donald Trump said in a March 25 tweet.

Update: The article has been updated with New York City CCP virus data as of March 25, 5:30 p.m.

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report

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