With coronavirus cases inside the capacity of the state's hospital system for the second week in a row, New York is following through on a promise to send whatever aid it can spare to other U.S. states in-need.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon in which he mostly discussed the state's calculus for reopening non-essential businesses, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his state was giving 100 spare ventilators to Michigan and 50 more to Maryland.
Both Michigan and Maryland are battling spikes in COVID-19 cases.
"We've stabilized our healthcare situation," Cuomo said. "New York had one of the earlier curves. There are other places in this country that are now seeing increases in the death rate, and they're seeing stress on their healthcare system. I will never forget the generosity that people across this country showed to our state."
Just about two weeks ago, Cuomo said more than 20,000 healthcare professionals volunteered to help the state. He said there was no way for the nation to get beyond the pandemic than for states to send resources to wherever the need at the time was greatest. At that time, New York was bracing for what officials worried would be a hellish week of COVID-19 deaths.
While the state recorded more COVID-19 deaths last week than any other time in the pandemic, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations (patients being put on ventilators) mercifully plateaued. This week the critical numbers are slowly trending downward, though the U.S. state hardest hit by the pandemic continues to confirm new cases of the virus.
As of Wednesday, New York reported 202,208 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 11,000 COVID-19 deaths. More than half of those cases — 106,763 — were located in New York City.
The flattening of the curve in New York proves states can ultimately assume some measure of control over the spread of the virus.
While testing must be brought to scale for people to go back to work, Cuomo says he believes New York can reopen in phases if hospitalizations keep declining.
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