Hospitalizations in New York are expected to peak in about 45 days. It's a projection announced Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that brings a deadline to the need to expand the state's capacity to handle the influx of patients.
At minimum, New York will need to more than triple its capacity for intensive care unit beds and ventilators from 3,000 to at least 18,000. The worst case scenario: New York will have to respond to 37,000 ICU patients.
Meanwhile, the state's capacity for hospital beds, currently capable of supporting 53,000 paitents, will have to expand to meet at least 55,000 patients and as many as 110,000 people sickened with coronavirus.
"We're examining the entire hospital system," Cuomo said at a news briefing on Tuesday. "What is the maximum capacity per hospital? If Department of Health waives their special rules, how many people can you get into hospitals?"
Cuomo has urged the Army Corps of Engineers to provide New York with help to manage the expansion -- a proposal President Trump for the first time later in the day Tuesday appeared to be open to for the first time.
Without the federal aid, New York is working with private sector businesses and unions to expand hospital capacity with the goal of reaching an additional 9,000 beds -- not nearly enough to handle the expected wave of patients.
Cuomo said New York officials will continue to work to "flatten the curve" -- the expected wave of hospitalizations -- by reducing the ability of people to gather in large groups. New York has closed schools, restaurants, bars and gyms and is banning gatherings of 50 or more people.
More restrictions are likely to come in the near term, Cuomo said.
"To reduce the density, it's possible we will be doing more dramatic closings," Cuomo said. "Not today, but I'm talking to the other governors in the other states."
There are now more than 1,300 confirmed cases of the virus in New York and the hospitalization rate is at 19 percent of those cases.