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New York's death toll nears 1,000 and governor predicts 'thousands will die'

By
Daniel Uria and Allen Cone
Pedestrian and automobile traffic around The World Trade Center Transportation Oculus Hub remained almost non-existent in New York City on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Pedestrian and automobile traffic around The World Trade Center Transportation Oculus Hub remained almost non-existent in New York City on Sunday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

March 29 (UPI) -- The coronavirus death toll in the United States on Sunday doubled over three days as cases in New York continued to rapidly accelerate.

The United States led all nations with 125,313 reported cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon and 2,351 deaths, according to numbers recorded by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. death count stood at 1,701 on Friday and 1,205 on Thursday.

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Cases stood at 12,750 on Saturday and 104,661 the day before.

On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his state, which has become the epicenter for the virus, had 59,513 confirmed cases of the virus as the total shot up by 7,200 in one day and 965 people have died.

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On Saturday, the death count in the state was 883 as New York accounted for 39.5 percent of deaths. It was 606 on Friday.

New York City alone accounts for 32,308 of those cases and 678 deaths.

"I don't see how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away," Cuomo said during a news conference Sunday.

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He said 8,503 people are hospitalized in the state, including 282 in intensive care.

Cuomo also said that he would extend his order for all non-essential workers to remain home to April 15.

"We're doing it in two-week intervals because every day is a new day and we'll see what happens day-to-day but I think it's not even questionable today," he said.

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He added that more than 76,000 health workers have volunteered to work in hospitals to ease the strain of the virus on the healthcare system and said he would ask New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to come up with a plan for the city's 11 public hospitals to coordinate how patients and resources are distributed in addition to calling for public and private hospitals to work together.

De Blasio on Sunday told CNN that the city has enough supplies to last about a week while adding that the city needs several hundred more ventilators very quickly.

"We have otherwise the supplies to get to next Sunday," he said. "We are going to need a re-enforcement by Sunday, April 5 in all categories, especially ventilators but in other areas as well. And personnel is becoming more and more the issue."

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday issued an advisory for residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to avoid travel outside the states for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus.

The advisory came at the order of President Donald Trump who had previously said he was considering a strict quarantine of the three states but altered the plan after meeting with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Cuomo, who was critical of the quarantine, said he supported the travel advisory adding, however, that it was "nothing we haven't been doing."

In other states through Saturday, 189 cases were reported in Washington State, an early epicenter of the virus in the United States, including one case in a nursing home near Seattle. New Jersey reported 140 cases, followed by Louisiana with 137, California with 120 and Michigan with 111.

In early reports Sunday, New Jersey reported 21 additional deaths, Michigan 21 more and Louisiana 14.

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