The state's new death toll amid the global coronavirus pandemic is 385, up from 285, as of Thursday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a midday news conference. He said that the longer someone has to be kept on a ventilator, the more likely that person will not recover. Some patients have been on a ventilator for 20 or more days.
"You get the infection, 80% self-resolve, they don't go into the hospital. Some percentage going to the hospital, get treated, and go home," Cuomo said. "Some percentage go into the hospital, need a ventilator, they're on the ventilator, and they never come off the ventilator. And that is a situation where people just deteriorate over time."
New York now has 37,258 positive cases (that includes 6,400 new cases), Cuomo said, and 5,327 people were hospitalized; 1,290 are in intensive care and 1,517 have been discharged.
The governor said testing for the novel coronavirus continues to grow: 18,650 more people have been tested with many more still to come. He called the response to the crisis a "marathon" and not a "sprint."
"The outpouring of support for the people of New York has been so inspiring. Not just from New Yorkers. I'm telling you from across the country, from across the world," Cuomo said. "You would be amazed at how many phone calls we get. How many offers of support. How many creative ideas from everyone."
The governor said that more than 12,000 people volunteered in one day to provide medical services. More than 8,600 mental health professionals have volunteered to help, too.
"We're getting mental health professionals from other states calling up and saying they'll provide mental health services electronically, through Skype or over the telephone," Cuomo said. "It gives me such strength and such inspiration. But I don't want to sugarcoat the situation. The situation is not easy, but easy times don't forge character. It's the tough times that forge character, and that's what we're looking at right now."
A few hours later, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he can "barely comprehend" the latest COVID-19 numbers for the city: 21,873 confirmed cases and 281 people dead.
The mayor said Elmhurst Hospital in Queens has borne the brunt of the crisis and is getting additional staff to help cope with the caseload.
He said the city has enough medical supplies to last this week but beyond that he just doesn't know. After working with the White House and FEMA, the city should be getting about 2,500 more ventilators by next week but the mayor said that won't be enough.