Coronavirus outbreak in New York sees 40,000 answer call to re-join health care industry, Cuomo says

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Approximately 40,000 medical professionals have answered the call to re-join the health care industry as New York grapples with over 30,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Those individuals include over 6,000 mental health professionals who have signed up to help with a hotline (1-844-863-9314) in addition to their individual practices.

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“How beautiful is that,” Cuomo said while adding that the state’s single greatest challenge remains to be a shortage of ventilators.

Cuomo said the state has 4,000 existing ventilators and has both purchased and received from the federal government an additional 7,000, but may need as many as 30,000 to help critically ill patients.

About 12 percent of the state's cases have required hospitalization, with 3 percent requiring ICU care, Cuomo said.

"Our goal is to have a ventilator for anyone who needs one," he said.

Current projections say the state may face 140,000 COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization, including 40,000 patients that require ICU care. Currently, the state has 53,000 hospital beds and 3,000 ICU beds, which Cuomo said officials have been working to increase by exploring ways to increase hospital capacity.

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Earlier this week, he had announced a mandate for hospitals to increase capacity by 50 percent, which includes waiving the Department of Health regulations regarding the number of beds allowed in one room.