April 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Nearly 500 Queens residents have now been killed by the coronavirus since the pandemic took over New York City and turned the World’s Borough into the epicenter.
Across the five boroughs, 1,584 people have died, as of 9:30 a.m. today. In Queens, 499 residents have died and 17,832 residents have contracted the virus, according to city data.
New York City’s total count of coronavirus positive residents is up to 57,159, Governor Andrew Cuomo said this morning. Statewide, the number of infected hit the six-digit figure today with 102,863 positive cases.
The state’s death toll, which saw its biggest jump yet today, will only continue to rise as the number of cases goes up.
A projected 16,000 New Yorkers will die throughout the Empire State, Cuomo said at his daily press briefing yesterday, citing an Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model.
Statewide, 562 people died between Thursday and Friday, bringing the total deaths to 2,935.
Cuomo warned that the number of deaths will continue to rise as more people are put on ventilators for extended periods. About 80 percent of coronavirus patients put on a ventilator do not recover, he said at Wednesday’s briefing.
“If you go on a ventilator, there’s roughly only a 20 percent chance that you will come off,” he said.
But even securing the life-saving ventilators in the first place will be difficult enough.
The state’s supply of ventilators will run out in six days at the current rate, Cuomo said yesterday.
There are currently 2,200 ventilators in the state stockpile — but each day, an average of 350 COVID-19 patients come into hospitals across the state in need of one.
“If a person comes in and needs a ventilator and you don’t have a ventilator, the person dies,” Cuomo said. “That’s the blunt equation here.”
Wednesday night, the state released 400 ventilators to New York City’s public hospital system and another 200 to Long Island and Westchester — both of which have seen a recent uptick in cases.
The federal government doesn’t have enough ventilators to meet the need in New York.
The state has instead been forced to plan B to supplement the need. Anesthesia machines and BiPAP machines will be converted into ventilators and existing ventilators will be split, so that two patients can use one machine.
“Yes, the burn rate of ventilators is troubling and six days of ventilators in the stock pile is troubling, but we have all these extraordinary measures that I believe, if push comes to shove, will put us in fairly good shape,” Cuomo said yesterday.
Today, he said he would sign an executive order allowing the state to take ventilators from hospitals where they aren’t being used and redistribute them to hospitals where there’s a greater need. The National Guard will oversee the distribution.
As of yesterday at 4:30 p.m., 10,590 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized across New York City, with 3,531 in Queens.
At Elmhurst Hospital — ground zero of the pandemic — staff members have increased the ICU capacity from 29 beds to 111 ICU beds in just 10 days. In most cases, ICU beds for coronavirus patients means beds with ventilators.
Elmhurst Hospital has been diverting patients to other hospitals throughout the city to prevent overwhelming its capacity.
The hospital is surrounded by Corona and Elmhurst, the two neighborhoods that have seen the most COVID-19 cases. As of March 31, 971 Corona residents have been infected with the virus and 831 Elmhurst residents have been infected.