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519 people have died from coronavirus in New York state, Governor Cuomo says

Cuomo: N.Y. "scrambling" to add hospital beds
Cuomo: New York is "scrambling" to add hospital beds for coronavirus 05:43

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday that 519 people have died from the coronavirus in the state, up from the previous day's total of 385 deaths, and more than 44,000 people have been infected. Currently, 6,481 patients are hospitalized in New York and 1,583 are in ICUs. 

"We are battling a deadly virus," Cuomo said. "It's the worst news but it's not unexpected news either."  

New York has become the U.S. epicenter of the virus outbreak and Cuomo has repeatedly stressed the state's need for more ventilators and hospital beds to treat patients.  

Cuomo says he will ask Trump to authorize 4 more temporary hospitals 

Cuomo said he is going to ask President Trump on Friday to authorize four more temporary hospitals to increase the number of available beds. About 140,000 are expected to be needed in the state at the height of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Current capacity is 53,000.

"We're looking far and wide, very creative, aggressive, and finding all the space that we can possibly find," Cuomo said.  

The four temporary hospitals would add to four that are already in the works in New York City and surrounding areas. Officials are looking at the New York Expo Center in the Bronx, the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the College of Staten Island as possible locations.

USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds, is expected to arrive in New York Harbor on Monday, according to Cuomo. The state is also looking at hotels, college dorms and nursing homes as possible places for additional capacity. 

Cuomo to National Guard: "The mission is to save lives. That's what you're doing." 

Cuomo spoke Friday from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, which the National Guard helped convert into a temporary hospital in a matter of days. 

He said to the National Guard: "You are the best of us. And whenever we call on you, you are there. And what you did in this facility in one week, creating a hospital, is just incredible."

Cuomo said the coronavirus is "a different beast that we're dealing with. This is an invisible beast. It is an insidious beast."

"This is not gonna be a short deployment," he said. "This is not gonna be that you go out there for a few days, we work hard, and we go home. This is gonna be weeks and weeks and weeks. This is gonna be a long day. And it's gonna be a hard day. And it's gonna be an ugly day. And it's gonna be a sad day."

"This is a rescue mission that you're on," he said. "The mission is to save lives. That's what you're doing."

School closures extended for another 2 weeks

Cuomo announced schools across the state will be closed for at least another two weeks, extending closures that were in effect until April 1.

"I don't do this joyfully but I think when you look at where we are ... it only makes sense to keep the schools closed," he said. 

Officials will reassess the need for possible continued closures following the new two-week period. 

New York City schools are closed to students until at least April 20

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