New York Governor Cuomo re-opens Covid Area Hospital in Staten Island as hospital stays speed up

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wears a protective face mask as he approaches during a daily briefing following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manhattan in New York City, New York, the United States, on July 13, 2020 Word comes.

Mike Segar | Reuters

New York will reopen a temporary field hospital on Staten Island to treat an influx of coronavirus patients as the New York borough faces a worsening outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

"Staten Island is a problem," Cuomo said during a press conference. On Sunday, 91 people with Covid-19 were hospitalized on Staten Island, an almost three-fold increase from three weeks ago, Cuomo said.

The Field Hospital was one of many New York City hospitals to open in the spring as it battled a wave of coronavirus infections that overwhelmed the hospital system, killing around 800 people a day. However, these emergency facilities have remained largely unused, said Cuomo.

"This was a planned emergency facility in the spring. We didn't use it; now we need it," he said.

Across the state, Covid-19 hospital stays rose 122% in the past three weeks, from 1,227 to 2,724 on Sunday. At this rate, the state assumes that thousands more people will be hospitalized in the coming weeks.

Before considering the upcoming holidays, which could hasten the problem, the Democratic governor warned.

"These are dangerous times we are in," said Cuomo. "Before you get to Thanksgiving, we're already in a bad time."

According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, New York reports around 5,144 new Covid-19 cases daily, based on a weekly average. That's an increase of more than 15% compared to a week ago. At the height of the pandemic, the state saw around 10,000 new cases every day.

Cuomo has already ordered restaurants and bars licensed by the State Liquor Authority to close at 10 p.m., although after that time they can be operated for roadside pickup. He has also cracked down on people gathered inside, banning gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence.

However, the state is facing "bad synergy" with many residents gradually feeling "Covid fatigue" and the likelihood of an upcoming vaccine has caused some people to lose their vigilance, Cuomo said. Now the US is entering the winter months when people will gather for the holidays.

"This is a toxic cocktail of momentum and fact," he said.

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