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Cuomo: at peak, NYS could need 50,000 more hospital beds

Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 17:29:38-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — In his press conference on Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said experts are expecting the spread of COVID-19 to peak in 45 days.

In the press conference, Governor Cuomo said the projected peak could mean hospitals will need more beds. Currently there are 53,000 hospital beds statewide, but experts say hospitals will need anywhere from 55,000 to 110,000 beds to accommodate those affected by the virus.

The same goes for beds in intensive care units. Right now, New York State has 3,000 ICU beds. By the peak of COVID-19 in the state, hospitals could need anywhere from 18,600 to 37,200 ICU beds.

Cuomo says health experts are working on new "surge capacity" for hospitals-- including fitting more beds in hospitals and more people per rooms in hospitals. Today, healthcare experts Michael Dowling and Ken Raske will meet with hospital admins to develop plan.

New York State Health Department is encouraging former doctors and nurses to help in the hospitals by signing up on their website. They are also going to medical schools in search of assistance. The state is also working with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on potentially constructing temporary hospital facilities.

To avoid needing those extra beds, Cuomo and other public officials are encouraging the nation "flatten the curve" by staying inside. The state could also consider more closings.