NEW YORK - New Yorkers are hearing a constant wail of sirens as weary ambulance crews respond to a record volume of 911 calls, many from people experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.
The city's ambulances are responding to about 6,000 calls a day — more than 50% more than average. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Sunday that the last five days have been the busiest stretch in the history of the city's EMS operation.
“This is unprecedented,” de Blasio said. “We have never seen our EMS system get this many calls — ever.”
Nigro said the surge is delaying responses to lower-level calls. De Blasio said the city is planning to shift personnel onto EMS crews to help keep up with demand.
New York state's coronavirus death toll is nearing 1,000, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. The state accounts for more than 40% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.
The number of disease-related deaths in the state jumped to 965 from 728 on Saturday, Cuomo said. The vast majority have been in New York City.
Figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city, which continues to be the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. The city had 161 deaths in a 24-hour period spanning Saturday to Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.