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Coronavirus Update: NYC Working To Increase Testing, Add Hospital Beds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the number of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus cases in New York City has jumped to 3,954, with 26 deaths.

As of Thursday evening, there have been a total of 26 deaths in the city, and at least 3,954 confirmed cases citywide.

Of those 3,954 cases, Brooklyn has 1,195, Queens has 1,042, Manhattan has 1,038, the Bronx has 496 and Staten Island has 179.

The FDNY is now reporting 14 members with the coronavirus and 175 self-quarantined with possible exposure.

The spike in numbers comes the same day that New York City is increasing its capacity to test for the coronavirus with more designated locations.

As CBS2 has been reporting, earlier detection is critical in stopping the spread.

Testing will be by appointment only at hospitals in every borough. It's a crucial step in early detection and keeping people out of emergency rooms, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports.

More COVID-19 tests will be available at designated sites, including Harlem Hospital, for those with moderate to severe symptoms. People with mild symptoms who are not considered high risk are being told to self-quarantine at home.

Testing by appointment only is available through NYC Health + Hospitals at Bellevue, Elmhurst, Harlem, Jacobi, Kings County, Lincoln, Woodhull and Queens. Coney Island and Jacobi will be available for testing next week. These testing centers, which are not drive-thru sites, will serve 150 people each day.

There will also be testing available for 50-75 people at several Gotham health clinics, including Cumberland, EAst New York, Morrisania and Vanderbilt.

New York City Council member Mark Treyger says a drive-thru testing site to help Coney Island Hospital will be set up at the Ida G. Israel Clinic.

As cases continue to surge in New York City, leaders fear hospitals may run out of beds.

As CBS2's Reena Roy reports, officials are working on creative solutions to make more space.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says starting Thursday, the city will be capable of testing 5,000 people daily, with the most critically ill given first priority. He's also looking to convert hotels into makeshift medical facilities and use large event spaces to store health care supplies.

As lawmakers race to flatten the curve, they're also desperately trying to increase medical supplies and hospital capacity.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump agreed to deploy a Navy hospital ship to New York City's harbor to ease some of the strain.

"It has about 1,000 rooms on it. It has operating rooms," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "The president is going to dispatch the Comfort to us."

The effects of the coronavirus are already taking its toll, but drastic measures are an effort to slow its spread.


Once busy corridors, like Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, are now quiet as most businesses have complied with orders to temporarily close. Restaurants are only serving take-out and delivery.

So far, six violations have been issued.

Private companies are being urged to follow suit.

In the meantime, essential services, like grocery stores, remain open, and delivery drivers are trying to stay safe while keeping up with the demand.

The city is also making sure every child has access to breakfast and lunch during these unprecedented times.

Grab-and-go meals are available at the main entrances of public schools citywide, and parents don't have to grab the meals from the school their child attends.

The City Council said more than 133,000 meals were served Wednesday.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text 692692 | Westchester Testing Call 1(888)-364-3065 | NJ Health Dept. | NJ Case Tracker | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211

With more than 3,600 positive cases in the city, the contagious virus has yet to show any signs of slowing down.

To ease some of the burden, the city is automatically extending Section 8 vouchers that were set to expire.

There is some good news: more than 1,700 retired medical professionals are answering the call to get back on the front lines to help fight the epidemic.

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