U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Hit 3,000 as New York Struggles With Overcrowded Hospitals

As Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived in New York Harbor Monday to help alleviate the influx of coronavirus patients in local health care facilities, the death toll in the U.S. from complications related to the virus rose to over 3,000.

According to a Monday press release, the USNS Comfort "will provide a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults. This will allow local health professionals to focus on treating COVID-19 patients and for shore-based hospitals to use their Intensive Care Units and ventilators for those patients."

Newsweek reached out to the U.S. Navy for comment.

"We've all been through a lot these last few weeks," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday, "and we needed this boost. This ship arriving is not just an example of help arriving in a physical form. It's not just about the beds and the doctors and the equipment. It's also about hope."

By May, New York City needs to triple its number of hospital beds, according to the mayor's office. Temporary hospitals have been set up in Central Park and at the Javits Convention Center.

"Work has begun on additional temporary hospital sites," said President Donald Trump during Monday's coronavirus task force briefing, "including a 600-bed capacity nursing home facility in Brooklyn and numerous floors of a high rise building in Wall Street."

However, even with the arrival of the USNS Comfort and the construction of temporary hospitals in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday at a press briefing that the worst was yet to come.

"I don't care if you live in Kansas," Cuomo said. "I don't care if you live in Texas. There is no American that is immune. What is happening to New York is not an anomaly."

coronavirus, new york city
Temporary hospitals have been set up in New York, including a field hospital in Central Park, to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. John Lamparski/Getty

New York currently has over 67,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 1,342 deaths attributable to the virus. That number represents over one-third of the entire number of deaths in the U.S. from coronavirus.

While it is unknown when the U.S. will reach the coronavirus peak, after which reported cases are expected to go down in number, infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Sunday that up to 200,000 Americans could be killed by the virus.

"Looking at what we're seeing now," Fauci said, "I would say between 100,00 and 200,000 deaths. I don't want to be held to that. It's such a moving target."

On Sunday, Trump expanded the social distancing requirements in the U.S. until the end of April as opposed to his stated desire to have the country reopened by Easter.

"We can expect that by June 1," Trump said, "we will be will on our way to recovery. We think by June 1 a lot of great things will be happening."

Recent data indicated 164,253 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. with 3,165 deaths attributable to the illness. However, 5,506 individuals have recovered from the disease.

Worldwide, 785,777 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed as positive with 37,815 deaths caused by the virus. Over 165,000 cases have been classified as totally recovered.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the distribution of COVID-19 cases around the world as of March 30 at 6 a.m.

number of worldwide coronavirus cases
This chart shows the number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases worldwide as of Monday at 8:45 a.m. Statista

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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