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Coronavirus Update: New York City Scrambling To Get Ahold Of More Ventilators And Staff

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The ongoing supply shortages continue to stretch hospitals to the limit.

There was a glimmer of hope Monday as Mayor Bill de Blasio toured a factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that's been transformed to make surgical gowns - crucial personal protective equipment to keep medical professionals safe.

More than 320,000 will be produced there by the end of the month, but still the need is overwhelming.


"Our public hospital system has enough for this week. But some of the private hospitals and nursing homes are running low. This is an area we're very, very concerned about," de Blasio said.

It's a day by day struggle at hospitals that are barely getting by.

WATCH: Mayor Bill de Blasio Gives Coronavirus Update

"We received our continuous stock of ventilators. I guess they call them FEMA ventilators. It just doesn't seem to be enough because we're constantly intubating another person," said respiratory therapist Daniel Bellevue.

Bellevue works at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, where's working well past his usual 12 hour shifts managing the sought-after ventilators.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

"If we had 20 to 24 ventilators running before, that would be considered a lot. Right now we are operating 50-65 ventilators. And we have not had an increase in staffing," he said.

As of last night, de Blasio said the city had enough of the lifesaving machines to get through Wednesday. Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 800 more were coming from the state, but warned there's not an endless supply.

WATCH: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Gives Coronavirus Update

"We are into using BIPAP machines instead of ventilators. We're into splitting ventilators. Turning two into one with two sets of tubes. We are into all backup plans," Cuomo said.

PHOTO GALLERY: A Look Inside NYC's Viral 'Warzone'

Even with the added equipment, there's still a shortage of staff to use it.

"If you don't have enough feet on the ground to get to the patients who are being intubated at the rate they are being intubated it's a lost cause," Bellevue said.

As the peak of the virus approaches, the race continues to properly arm the front lines.

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