Coronavirus News: FDNY and NYPD show hospital workers appreciation with siren serenade

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- On Friday night, members of the FDNY parked in front of New York University Langone Hospital and the NYPD in front of Weill Cornell, serenading nurses and doctors with their sirens in a sign of support and appreciation for working the front-lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Tonight at least three more veteran public servants lost their lives to COVID-19. A school safety agent in the Bronx, an Auxiliary Lieutenant in Brooklyn, and a decorated fire inspector.

These are just some of the new realities that New York City is facing since the coronavirus outbreak.

The death toll from COVID-19 in New York State soared to nearly 3,000 Friday and startling new figures say that the coronavirus kills one New Yorker every 12 minutes.

Funeral homes are overwhelmed with the number of deaths increasing daily. Pat Marmo from the Schafer Funeral Home said, "60 percent of this room is COVID-19 patients."

"This is like a war that hasn't been declared and needs to be declared," Mayor de Blasio said. "If you go to one of these hospitals, what our healthcare workers are going through sure looks like a war to me."

Mayor de Blasio tonight called for a nationwide draft of healthcare workers.

New York City even activated its emergency alert system that is usually reserved for storm watches or lost children; now, a cry for help from licensed healthcare workers.

"We're losing staff members," Dr. Ed Lathan from Jamaica Hospital said. "Our nurses are sick."

This epidemic is also taking an emotional toll on the medical staff.

"When I come home, I can take a deep breath and fill my lungs, and then all I want to do is cry because I don't know what to do with the emotion anymore," Dr. Lathan said.

Today the owner of the New England patriots donated 300 thousand N-95 masks to New York but the governor says there still are far from enough ventilators.

Today he signed an executive order allowing him to take them from any facility in the state that isn't using them.

"I'm not going to be in a position where people are dying," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "We have several hundred ventilators in our state somewhere else."

Meantime public health officials grow more concerned about the spread of the virus from those without symptoms. The CDC today formally advised Americans to cover their faces when they leave their homes to protect others.

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