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The U.S. hit a grim milestone on Monday after health officials announced the 3,000th coronavirus-related death in the country, with about 900 from New York City alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
New York is currently the U.S. epicenter of the virus and has over 67,000 cases. Over a third of all deaths in the country have occurred in the state.
USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms, arrived in New York harbor earlier in the day. The floating hospital could be ready to take in patients as soon as Tuesday amid a growing strain on healthcare workers in the city.
Irakli Kalarji holds a sign against a fence at Pier 90 during the arrival of the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship with a 1,000 bed-capacity, Monday, March 30, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
New York’s Empire State Building was lit up on Monday night and will stay up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to honor medical workers and first responders.
“We’ll never stop shining for you,” it said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo D-N.Y., has requested relief for healthcare professionals currently working on the front lines. He said roughly 14,000 people were tested for the virus yesterday and nearly 10,000 are currently hospitalized.
“In this battle, the troops are our healthcare professionals,” Cuomo said at the Javits Center, a convention hall in New York City that was turned into an emergency hospital, USA Today reported. “We need relief. We need relief for nurses working 12-hour shifts. We need relief for doctors. Help us now and we will return the favor.”
He spoke as the number of COVID-19 deaths in New York City rose to 914 on Monday afternoon. An additional 253 people died in the state in the last 24 hours. He said only one county in New York does not have a case of the virus.
“If you wait to prepare for a storm to hit, it is too late,” the governor said, according to the New York Times. “You have to prepare before the storm hits. And in this case the storm is when you hit that high point, when you hit that apex. How do you know when you’re going to get there? You don’t.”
New York reported an over 11 percent increase in patients who tested positive for coronavirus, amounting to 6,751 cases solely on Monday. Cuomo said that anyone who believes the coronavirus is only a New York City situation is in “a state of denial.”
“There is no American who is immune to this virus. I don’t care if you live in Kansas, I don’t care if you live in Texas,” he added. “There is no American that is immune. What is happening to New York is not an anomaly.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) deployed 85 refrigerated trucks to New York City to serve as temporary morgues, where hospitals will place the overflow of bodies. It could double the capacity of city morgues, upping it from 3,500 bodies to 7,000, NY’s Medical Examiner’s Office (OCME) said.
A field hospital is also being erected in the city’s famed Central Park to help meet the demand of extra hospital beds during the coronavirus outbreak.
Mt. Sini Hospital said in a statement obtained by Fox News that it is partnering with Samaritan’ Purse and other government agencies and will be located in the East Meadow. It will enable doctors to “provide care for patients seriously ill with COVID-19.”
In the U.S., ten states currently have more than 4,000 cases of the virus.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom had said the state could need 50,000 additional hospital beds, with a peak of cases expected in a few weeks on the west coast.
Globally, COVID-19 has infected over 785,000 people across 178 countries and territories, resulting in over 37,686 deaths.
Considered the epicenter of the virus outbreak in Europe, Italy now has 101,739 cases as of Tuesday morning, nearly 18,000 more than China. Spain has also passed China in terms of the total number of cases.
Other countries hit hard throughout the globe are Germany, France, Iran, and the U.K, which saw British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce he had tested positive on Friday.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report