The number of new hospitalizations in New York state for COVID-19 appears to have reached a plateau, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on April 7, a similar message to one he delivered a day earlier.
While the state reported that more than 700 people died in the previous 24 hours from COVID-19, the largest single-day death toll during the pandemic, officials still believe the peak of illnesses may have arrived.
“The number of deaths is a lagging indicator to the number of hospitalizations,” Cuomo said at a press briefing in Albany. “That’s why you’re seeing the number of deaths increase, because these are people that came in at the peak.”
Deaths increased to 5,489 but new hospitalizations and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions were both down. For the sixth straight day, hospitals discharged more patients than they admitted.
Only 660 patients were newly hospitalized, while just 68 new patients were admitted to ICUs.
The total number of cases rose from 130,689 to 138,836.
Models that showed New York needing as many as 140,000 hospital beds and 40,000 ventilators have been adjusted sharply downward this week. While officials haven’t been clear on how many ventilators may be needed now, Cuomo said the 90,000 hospital beds the state currently has should be more than sufficient.
While medical staffing is still an issue, the state’s facilities have hired 7,000 new workers from a pool that includes retired health care workers, doctors, and nurses from other states, as well as medical students.
“We are, potentially, at the apex or beginning to be at the apex,” Jim Malatras, president of the State University of New York’s Empire State College, told reporters on April 6, showing a graph that notched the peak of the outbreak caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, in the state well below what many models had projected.
New York reported just 358 hospitalizations on April 6 and ICU admissions of 128, along with 132 new intubations, or placement onto ventilators or similar machines.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious disease and a key member of the White House’s virus task force, told reporters on April 6 that the data from New York, the hardest-hit state, is promising.
“Everybody who knows me knows that I am very conservative about making projections, but those are the kind of good signs that you look for,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a televised briefing at the White House, adding, “That’s the first thing you see when you start to see the turnaround.”