New York Reports Single Largest 24-Hour Increase in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

March 31, 2020 Updated: March 31, 2020

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York jumped by 1,412 in one day, the largest single-day increase so far. Nearly 11,000 patients are now hospitalized in the state, with the bulk of them in New York City. Of those, 2,710 are in intensive care units.

The number of total daily hospitalizations has fluctuated since a substantial jump on March 19.

“The data is uneven. It bounces. Numbers often bounce in any model,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a briefing in Albany, noting that some of the hospitals may be reporting cases from prior days. “It’s an imperfect reporting mechanism.”

COVID-19 is caused by the CCP (Communist Chinese Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

New York officials reported 208 new deaths overnight, boosting the state’s death toll to 1,550, and accounting for 43 percent of recorded deaths in the United States.

The total daily number of new intensive care unit admissions increased for the third straight day to 358 on March 30. Hospitals placed 295 patients on ventilators on March 30, sightly down from the day before.

Workers in the state tested more than 18,600 people overnight, taking the total number of those tested to 205,186, with nearly 9,300 new patients testing positive, bringing the total number of infected to 75,795.

While the majority of the cases are still in New York City, several nearby counties saw large jumps in cases, including 1,200 new patients in Nassau County.

Epoch Times Photo
A Samaritan’s Purse crew member and medical personnel work on preparing to open a 68-bed emergency field hospital specially equipped with a respiratory unit in New York’s Central Park on March 31, 2020. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

Nearly 5,000 patients have been discharged from hospitals to date, an increase of 771 from the day before. That was the second-highest daily total of discharges, behind 846 discharges on March 28.

Officials, who have repeatedly pushed the projected peak of cases back, said it’s still not clear when the apex will happen.

“When is it over? Nobody knows,” Cuomo told reporters.

“We’re talking about exceeding the capacity of our hospital system, by some estimates, two times,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Refrigerator trucks are lined up behind NYU Langone Hospital in New York City on March 30, 2020. Due to a surge in deaths caused by the CCP virus, hospitals are using refrigerator trucks as makeshift morgues. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Officials are working to try to prevent the system from becoming overwhelmed, which would lead to people not being able to get intensive care when they need it. They’re scrambling to procure crucial necessities, including ventilators, health care workers, and boosting the number of hospital beds.

Thousands of beds have been created in recent days by converting buildings that aren’t being used, such as the Javits Center in the borough of Manhattan. The 1,000-bed USNS Comfort sailed into the city on March 30, one of the measures taken to provide beds for people who aren’t infected with COVID-19 as hospitals focus on patients who do have the illness.

Cuomo on March 30 met with officials representing the entire public and private health care system in the state. In their current configuration, the many hospitals in the system operate independently. The state is now working with health care officials on ways to operate as a unified whole and break down the barriers between the public, private, upstate, and downstate hospitals.

“We’re dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before. We need a totally different mindset and organizational transformation,” Cuomo said. “We need an unprecedented sense of cooperation, flexibility, communication, and speed.”

Based on projections, Cuomo estimates that up to 40,000 ventilators will be needed in the state at the height of the CCP virus outbreak, and officials are still seeking to obtain some of those. The state has distributed 1,000 from its stockpile and has 800 more there; 6,500 ventilators were already in hospitals in New York City and surrounding areas; the federal government sent 4,400, and the state has ordered 17,000 more.

State officials are still trying to figure out how many ventilators New York City has in its stockpile and how many more city officials have ordered.

“We are planning now for the battle at the top of the mountain,” Cuomo said, referring to the projected peak of the outbreak in the state, sometimes referred to as the apex. “Get a staffing plan ready now for the battle at the top of the mountain. Equipment stockpile—now. We’re gathering equipment that we don’t need today because today is not the day of the battle.”

Cuomo said projections for the apex in New York state range from 14 to 30 days from March 31. The governor advised New Yorkers to “calibrate” their expectations, based on the fact that the worst of the outbreak may still be weeks away.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber