FEMA is sending more 250 ambulances and 500 additional EMTs to aid New York City in its COVID-19 response.
The extra help comes as the coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of letting up, with over 43,000 confirmed cases and nearly 1,100 reported deaths in the Big Apple alone as of Wednesday morning.
As a state, New York had the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country — 75,795 — more than 10 times the total of California.
Officials believe the worst of the crisis in the Tri-State region is still at least 14 days away, but city medics have already been working grueling shifts due to record-breaking call volume for weeks.
NYC Uniformed EMS Officers President Vincent Variale told Q104.3 New York's Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein on Monday that officers have been routinely working 16-hour shifts. They are so constantly threatened by exposure to the novel coronavirus that many of them are sleeping in their cars for fear of transferring the virus to loved ones.
As of Wednesday, the NYPD reported at least 5,600 officers were out sick, with 1,200 officers confirmed to be infected by the novel coronavirus.
The FDNY has at least 2,800 members out sick, with close to 300 having tested positive for the virus.
With local hospitals near capacity, the city has set up medical stations at numerous other sites to manage overflow.
The city has built a field hospital for COVID-19 patients on Central Park's East Meadow Lawn, while the Javits convention center has been retrofitted to handle as many as 3,000 non-coronavirus cases.
On Monday, the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to provide an additional 1,000 hospital beds for non-coronavirus cases.
Officials are considering outfitting the U.S. Open tennis courts in Queens to handle patients who would be treated at nearby Elmhurst Hospital.
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