Coronavirus News: New York reviewing sites for more hospital beds, Governor Cuomo says

NEW YORK -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state is sending a million N95 masks to overwhelmed NYC hospitals and 500,000 to Long Island medical centers.

The state has also identified 6,000 new ventilators around the world that will be purchased and come to New York hospitals in weeks, Cuomo said, and that's a "big deal."

Ventilator shortages as caseloads increase present a nightmare scenario for stressed hospitals.

Cuomo also spoke of technology that would allow multiple people to be connected to a single ventilator.

The state is also working on addressing a gown shortage, and the state is "searching high and low," Cuomo said.

"Everything that can be done is being done," he said.

The state is looking to increase hospital space at sites including the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, the Westchester County Convention Center, and SUNY Westbury and SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island.

The hospitals would each contain 250 beds.

The goal is to get hospital capacity, which now stands at around 50,000, up to 75,000 beds, Cuomo said at a news briefing.

Possible locations for temporary hospitals, which would be operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, include Stony Brook University and SUNY College at Old Westbury on Long Island and the Westchester County Center, in addition to Manhattan's Javits Center, Cuomo said.

The state also will immediately conduct trials of an experimental treatment with hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax. The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been touted by President Donald Trump as a possible answer-in-waiting to the outbreak, though many experts caution more testing needs to be done. Cuomo said the Food and Drug Administration is sending 10,000 doses to the state.

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