April 4 (UPI) — New York reported its largest one-day death toll from the coronavirus disease Friday, while California’s caseload surpassed 10,000.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his daily update that 2,935 New Yorkers have so far died from the coronavirus disease, an increase of 562 — the state’s greatest single-day total so far. The number of cases rose by 10 percent to nearly 103,000, more than half of which are in New York City.
Cuomo said he received quick approval from President Donald Trump to change the mission of the 2,500-bed field hospital constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
Originally intended to act as a overflow center for non-coronavirus patients displaced from hospitals, the White House agreed to let New York use the Javits facility for COVID-19 patients.
The Pentagon said similar field hospitals in New Orleans and Dallas will also now treat coronavirus patients.
“We don’t have any non-COVID patients in the hospitals anymore,” Cuomo said. “I thank the president. Twenty-five-hundred beds is a big deal for us.”
However, he again asked for more federal help in procuring much-needed ventilators.
“New York is in crisis. Help New York. No state can get the supplies they need … The market has literally collapsed.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday called for federal help to institute a nationwide draft of private medical personnel to help fight the spread of the disease.
“The federal government must step up and provide the reinforcements we need,” he said at a morning press briefing. “The battle will be long, and we cannot fight it alone.”
De Blasio warned that Sunday will be “D-Day” for the city — the day medical workers are projected to run out of ventilators, and thousands of intubated patients will start dying.
“We predict by something like Monday or Tuesday, 5,000 people in our ICUs intubated fighting for their lives with COVID cases,” he told CNN. “Five-thousand. Then that number will grow. That’s a staggering number. Every one of those people will need a ventilator.”
The Pentagon said Friday the USNS Comfort hospital ship, stationed in New York City, has loosened its admitting requirements after city hospitals complained that military bureaucracy is hampering the mission.
“This assistance will further unburden the local hospital and ambulance systems in these areas, allowing them to focus on the more serious COVID-19 cases,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “We will immediately implement this action and work with local officials in each area on the details of patient arrival.”
In California, the number of cases surpassed 10,000 and the death toll in the Los Angeles County epicenter climbed to 78, according to Johns Hopkins University. The statewide death toll is approaching 250.
In suburban Riverside County, a second sheriff’s deputy died of complications from COVID-19, authorities said. He was identified as David Werksman, a 22-year veteran of the department. Deputy Terrell Young died Thursday. Sheriff Chad Bianco said 25 departmental employees have tested positive, mostly deputies.
Two more states — Georgia and Missouri — fell in line with most of the rest of the country by implementing stay-at-home orders. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered that as of 6 p.m. Friday, all residents must stay at home except to purchase groceries, medical needs, go to a doctor’s appointment, travel for necessary business or to exercise. All non-essential businesses are also closed.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s “Stay Home Missouri” order has similar restrictions.
“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Parson said. “This is not about any one individual person. This is about our families, friends, neighbors, and the entire state of Missouri. For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible, and stay home, Missourians.”