New York Governor Orders Hospitals to Increase Capacity by at Least 50 Percent

March 23, 2020 Updated: March 23, 2020
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on March 23 requiring all hospitals in the state to increase their capacity by 50 percent, as the state reported more than 5,000 new cases.

Cuomo said hospitals should try to increase capacity by 100 percent but that some hospitals wouldn’t be able to.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say, try to reach a 100 percent increase, but you must reach a 50 percent increase,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany.

Hospitals can accomplish the mandatory increase by finding more beds and using more rooms, he said.

The order comes ahead of the expected continuation of an increase in patients who have contracted the CCP virus. The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Epoch Times Photo
A sign is displayed showing information about store times at a store in Times Square in New York City on March 22, 2020. (Keta Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

New York currently has 53,000 hospital beds. Projections of cases show the state will need 110,000 beds, Cuomo said.

New York has 3,000 beds in intensive care units, while projections show the state will need between 18,000 and 37,000 ICU beds.

Once hospitals increase capacity, they’ll face staffing shortages. Officials have reached out to retired health care professionals across the state, as well as medical and nursing schools. They’ve received 30,000 responses to date.

Cuomo also planned to issue an executive order mandating that all nurses enlist in the virus response while the state’s Department of Family Services reached out to health insurers and asked doctors and nurses on staff to start working in hospitals.

“This is about saving lives,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
People have a picnic in New York City’s Central Park on March 22, 2020. (Keta Betancur/AFP via Getty Images)

New Cases

Early on March 23, the state reported an increase of 5,707 cases overnight, including 3,260 new cases in New York City, bringing the state total to 20,875.

Westchester County reported an increase of 1,201 cases, and Nassau County reported 542 new cases.

More than 25 percent of the 78,289 people who have been tested in the state have tested positive.

New York City, the epicenter of the virus in the United States, has 12,305 cases.

Of the cases in the state, 13 percent of patients, or 2,635, are hospitalized, and 24 percent of those patients, or 621, are in ICUs.

Officials are working on gathering data on how to essentially restart the economy, Cuomo said.

Strategies could include isolating the vulnerable and allowing healthy, younger people to go back to work.

The survival rate for people who have been infected worldwide is around 98 percent, the governor noted.

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