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A Navy hospital ship will head to New York to help handle coronavirus outbreak

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for the Army Corps of Engineers to assist the state in building thousands of hospital beds for the expected growing number of coronavirus patients in the coming weeks.

Posted: Mar 18, 2020 9:10 AM
Updated: Mar 18, 2020 2:15 PM


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio asked the military for logistical help and a Navy hospital ship is prepping to head to New York harbor as America's largest city takes urgent steps to prepare for an impending health care crisis.

There are more than 7,000 confirmed coronavirus cases across the United States, and New York has been the hardest hit state. On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that there were 2,382 confirmed cases in New York state -- including 1,339 cases in New York City -- and that 20 people had died in the state.

Speaking to NBC's 'Today,' de Blasio said he had spoken with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday about the need for the military to help the city's medical capacity and logistics.

'There are American military officers right now still building a wall at the southern border when all they should be doing domestically is addressing coronavirus,' de Blasio said. 'We need their medical resources, their logistical know-how. We need them to help ensure that food and medicine moves around this country and our supply chain is not disrupted.

'Right now we're in the midst of a crisis we have not seen for generations ... and yet the American military is being sidelined when they should be given the chance to get in this game and help us all,' he added.

Cuomo said President Donald Trump is sending the USNS Comfort, a 'floating hospital,' to New York harbor to boost health care capacity.

The Comfort could still be a 'few weeks' away from arriving in New York, a US defense official told CNN. President Trump said Wednesday the Comfort and the USNS Mercy would launch in the next week or so. It is expected at this point the medical staff will be trauma care specialists, at least to begin with, so their presence can free up bed space in New York City hospitals.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the USS Mercy and Comfort were being prepared to deploy.

'We have also alerted a variety of field and expeditionary hospitals to be ready to deployed as needed, based on direction from the commander in chief,' he said.

Focus on increasing hospital beds

Cuomo and Trump are also discussing the possibility of the federal government setting up mobile hospitals in New York to help with capacity, the governor said.

Cuomo said he is meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers this afternoon about building new facilities for medical care.

He said the virus should peak in about 45 days and asked for up to 110,000 beds from its current capacity of 53,000 beds. The state has a current capacity of 3,000 ventilators, but Cuomo wants 37,000 intensive care units. He said an ICU bed would require a ventilator.

'That's our main issue,' Cuomo said, adding, 'That's a projection and projections can change.'

Cuomo met yesterday with hospital administrators to identify up 50,000 new beds. The state will waive Department of Health regulations, including the required space in a given room and how many beds are in it.

The state needs more current and reserve staff and the state is reaching out to retired nurses and doctors as well as medical and nursing schools to build up reserve capacity.

New York limits social gatherings

The push for more hospital beds comes as New York City took extraordinary steps to limit social gatherings and cut down on the spread of the virus. Schools have been closed, offices are asking workers to stay home, restaurants and bars are takeout or delivery only and large events are canceled.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a ban Monday on gatherings of more than 50 people and agreed to close casinos, gyms and movie theaters, Cuomo said.

The subway has remained open to transport those who still need to go to work, such as health care workers or grocery store employees.

City residents should be prepared for the possibility of a shelter-in-place order in the coming days as the city tries to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, de Blasio said. He said a decision on such an order has not been made, but it is a possibility.

Cuomo has rejected the idea of a New York City quarantine, which he said cannot legally happen without state approval.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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