New York COVID-19 Death Count Tops 3,500, More Ventilators Headed To State | WAMC

New York COVID-19 Death Count Tops 3,500, More Ventilators Headed To State

Apr 4, 2020

The number of COVID-19 related deaths in New York has risen to more than 3,500.

The figures were announced during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily update Saturday morning.

At least 2,624 deaths have been reported in New York City, with 941 elsewhere in the state.

Officials noted the increased number of cases on Long Island, as the novel coronavirus spreads.

On Friday, Governor Cuomo announced that he would issue an executive order to acquire unused ventilators from private and public hospitals across the state. He estimated Saturday that several hundred could be acquired.

“If you ask hospitals today, what ventilators do you have that are unused and available that they don’t need in the short-term, and take 20 percent of that number of available ventilators, that’s 500 ventilators of course is a significant number now.”

Some upstate New York officials have criticized the plan to move ventilators, saying it puts rural hospitals at risk.

Cuomo said New York initially ordered 17,000 ventilators through companies in China. The state has received approximately 2,500 units from that order.

Saturday, the governor said an additional 1,000 ventilators would be provided to New York. 

“We went to the Asia Society to help us navigate China. I asked the White House to help us navigate China. I spoke to the ambassador. And we got really good news today. The Chinese government is going to facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators that will come into JFK today.”

Additionally, the state of Oregon has announced it is sending 140 ventilators to New York.

Cuomo says he is also signing an executive order that will allow medical school students who were to graduate this spring to begin practicing.