ALBANY, N.Y. - Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state is now leading the nation in terms of the amount of coronavirus tests being conducted as the focus remains on keeping hospitals from being overwhelmed while treating patients.
According to Cuomo, New York now has 20,875 positive coronavirus cases - 12,305 in the city alone.
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There have been 157 coronavirus-related deaths in New York so far.
New testing, which has reached more than 16,000, found more than 5,000 cases overnight.
The state hospitalization rate is at 13 percent or 2,635.
There are currently 621 ICU patients, or 24 percent of hospitalizations.
"We have to learn from this experience because we were not ready to deal with this," Cuomo said.
Cuomo says he is ordering the state's hospitals to increase their capacity by 50 percent and, if possible, up to 100 percent.
In the afternoon, the governor traveled to the Javits Center in Manhattan to observe the order by President Donald Trump to have the Army Corps of Engineers set up 1,000 hospital beds and supply four large federal medical stations.
Cuomo says it will be completed by next week and will feature 320 federal staff members. He added that there is potential for another 1,000 beds as well.
The governor says the state will have enough beds for a projected need of 110,000 if each hospital can increase their bed capacity by 100 percent, but he added that that is not feasible everywhere.
He added that he is "less worried about the beds themselves" and more worried about potential equipment shortages.
The federal government is sending tons of medical equipment and supplies to New York. The supplies incude include respirators, surgical masks, gowns, face shields, coveralls, and gloves. But Cuomo says there is a dire need for supplies like ventilators, and he is continuing to call on the federal government to enact the Defense Production Act.
The governor said the rate of infection will continue to build a wave and reiterated the importance of social distancing to lessen its blow.
"A lot of people get it, very few people die from it," Cuomo said, adding the survival rate is about 98 percent.
Speaking to reporters in Albany, the governor also cautioned against underestimating emotional trauma and isolation.
"The goal for me: Socially distanced, but spiritually connect," he added.
Cuomo said he will be pressing Mayor Bill de Blasio to come up with a more detailed plan on how the city will enforce social distancing within the five boroughs.
In his briefing Monday afternoon, Cuomo said that the state's tax deadline is being extended to July 15 from April 15. This puts it in line with the federal deadline, which was extended last week.
The governor is also pressing the FDA to approve a blood test that would determine if a person has coronavirus antibodies.
He says approving serological testing will be a vital step in fighting the disease by finding people who contracted the virus and were able to fight it off and recover.
Over the weekend, Cuomo said the state is implementing coronavirus drug trials.
The state secured 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine and 10,000 doses of chloroquine.
He said trials will begin Tuesday,
Offering a silver lining to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Cuomo said life will have "less noise" over the next several months as New Yorkers adjust to how the city and state will operate.
"That can be a good thing in some ways. You have more time, there's more flexibility...you have more time with family," Cuomo added.