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May 27, 2020

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New York deaths, hospitalizations up in stark sign of coronavirus’s reach

New York’s spike bleak trend in fast-spreading outbreak

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A member of the Brooklyn Hospital Center calls in the next patient in line at a COVID-19 testing site, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in New York.
A member of the Brooklyn Hospital Center calls in the next patient in line at a COVID-19 testing site, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) Photo Gallery

NEW YORK — New York once again saw a spike in the number of deaths and hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, a bleak trend for the epicenter of the U.S.’s outbreak of the fast-spreading virus.

The increase in cases, deaths and hospitalizations comes as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo detailed how the outbreak will have dramatic economic effects on the state.

New York state’s death toll from the coronavirus jumped by 100 in a day, pushing the number to 385, Cuomo said Thursday. He added that experts expect the number to increase as critically ill patients who have been on ventilators for several days succumb to the virus.

“That is a situation where people just deteriorate over time,” Cuomo said. “And that is what we’re seeing.”

There are now more than 37,000 confirmed cases in the state. The figure does not represent all COVID-19 cases, since an unknown number of infected people have not been tested.

More than 5,300 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized statewide as of Thursday, a 40 percent increase from the day before. Nearly 1,300 patients were in intensive care, a 45 percent increase.

Hospitals in hard-hit New York City are trying to deal with the growing crush of patients and the need for medical equipment like face masks and ventilators.

The recent death toll includes a health care worker at one of the New York City hospitals under siege by the coronavirus has died, according to coworkers and his sister. Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at the Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan, died Tuesday from the virus after he got sick two weeks ago, multiple friends said in social media posts.

The head of a New York nurses’ union said not all hospital workers are getting needed protective equipment, despite assurances from the governor.

“In fact, personal protective equipment — from the hazmat suits seen in photos from around the world, to the impermeable disposable gowns, face shields and N95 respirators — the super-bare minimum needed to protect the nurses and patients from infection and/or exposure to COVID-19 — are clearly not being made available in any meaningful way to front line caregivers,” New York State Nurses Association President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez said in a prepared statement.

She said nurses are being asked to reuse that same disposable N95 mask for up to a week.

When asked Thursday about shortages, Cuomo said, “any hospital anywhere, whatever we have, we’ll distribute, and we’ll distribute it on an as-needed basis.”

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