Home Government COVID-19 UPDATE: 197 deaths in Westchester; Rockland exec blasts Cuomo response over...

COVID-19 UPDATE: 197 deaths in Westchester; Rockland exec blasts Cuomo response over containment zone

Fast Facts:
  • The governor said he would be signing an executive order to allow medical students who were set to graduate now to begin working immediately
  • There are 85,000 medical volunteers, including 22,000 from out of state
  • With a critical need for ventilators, China-based foundations will be flying in 1,000 ventilators to JFK Airport today
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is having 140 ventilators sent to New York state
  • Rockland County Executive Ed Day is angry that the governor was unaware of his call for a containment zone within Ramapo
  • The governor said he would be holding a conference call with all hospitals in the state to coordinate equipment deployment
  • Number of deaths in the state rose from 2,935 to 3,565
  • Westchester had 730 new cases bringing its total to 13,346
  • 113,704 state residents have tested positive
  • 15,905 are hospitalized
  • 4,126 are ICU patients
  • 10,478 patients have been discharged so far
  • Long Island is the new hotspot in the state growing from 17% to 22% of total coronavirus hospitalizations

There have been 197 deaths in Westchester from the COVID-19 virus according to a Tweet from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s secretary Melissa DeRosa. Just yesterday County Executive George Latimer reported there had been 71 fatal cases. DeRosa also said that there were 50 deaths in Rockland, 9 in Putnam, 11 in Dutchess and 32 in Orange County.

New York state today received a donation of 1,000 ventilators from China to use in the battle against COVID-19.

Although still warning that the state may not have all of the hospital beds and equipment it needs to meet the need when outbreak hits its peak, Cuomo said at a press conference this morning that the Chinese donation would help, as would a donation of 140 ventilators from the state of Oregon.

Cuomo said the Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation, founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai of the giant Chinese manufacturing and internet trading company Alibaba, the Jack Ma Foundation and the government of China arranged for the ventilators.

The state had bought 17,000 ventilators on the Chinese market, Cuomo said, only to have the orders and contracts canceled.

“Long term, we have to figure out how we wound up in this situation where we don’t have the manufacturing capacity in this country,” Cuomo said of the need to rely on sources outside of the U.S. for medical supplies during the crisis.

Cuomo thanked Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the people of that state for the unsolicited ventilator donation.

“We’re all in the same battle and the battle is stopping the spread of the virus,” Cuomo said. He said Oregon’s disease apex likely will come in May and New York will be ready to return the favor to Oregon as it needs equipment.

covid-19Although a few days ago he expressed concern about Westchester having a disproportionately large number of COVID-19 cases when compared with New York City, Cuomo now says that Long Island has become a hotspot for the virus. He characterized Westchester and Rockland as being “stable.”

Cuomo presented data showing that the distribution of cases within New York state has shifted. On March 16, New York City had 71% of the cases, Long Island had 17% of the cases, Westchester had 8% of the cases and upstate had 4% of the cases.

As of yesterday, New York City had 65% of the cases, Long Island had 22% of the cases, Westchester had 7% and upstate had 5%.

Statistics show that there have been 3,565 deaths in New York state from COVID-19, up from yesterday’s total of 2,935. Of those, 2,624 deaths were in New York City and 941 outside of the city.

A reporter’s question about Rockland County Executive Ed Day’s call for a containment zone drew a “Nobody asked me” reply from the governor.

Day fired off an angry statement following the briefing that said in part:

“To our Governor, if you are telling the truth then you need to have a serious conversation with office communications personnel AND your THREE staff members who also received the attached letter.

“And to both the Governor and Secretary to the Governor, (Secretary to the Governor) Melissa DeRosa, how in God’s name could you not know of this? Major news outlets, heavy social media coverage, along with a load of calls and emails to your office in support of this request, not to mention one of your staffers who actually saw it live. These responses strain credibility and that is putting in mildly.

“While lives are in the balance, nobody knows anything? That is what we in Rockland are expected to believe? Well, I guess you do ‘know’ now, and I await a call on my cell. The people of Rockland are beyond fed up.”

There were 13,081 cases identified in Westchester, 4,872 in Rockland, 2,741 in Orange and 938 in Dutchess. New York City had 63,306 cases. The state had a total of 113,704 cases identified, with 10,841 added to the total yesterday.

In Westchester, 42,334 tests for the virus were administered with 283,621 tests conducted statewide. There were 11,232 tests in Rockland, 7,912 in Orange and 3,754 in Dutchess.

Cuomo said he will be signing an executive order allowing medical students who have been scheduled to graduate to begin working immediately. He said hospital staffing is being helped by the 85,000 people who formerly were practitioners volunteering their services and that 22,000 of them are from out of state. He said that about two dozen hospitals are already drawing from the pool of personnel.

The governor said that the federal agreement to accept COVID-19 patients into the temporary hospital facilities at the Javits Center is a dramatic improvement in the situation in the city.

Cuomo said the fact that staffing and equipping the 2,500-bed center is the responsibility of the federal government is a big help to the state.

Cuomo said there are 15,905 people in hospitals with 4,126 of them in intensive care units. On the bright side, he reported that 10,478 people have been discharged from hospitals thus far in the battle against the virus.

Staff writer Bob Rozycki contributed to this report.

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