Deaths from COVID-19 Spike as Cuomo Says Peak is a Month Away

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Westchester County surged to 64 residents while the number of cases topped 10,000, County Executive George Latimer reported Wednesday afternoon.

The increasingly grim numbers were made public shortly after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state’s peak hospitalizations from the virus is likely a month away. Statewide, there have been 1,941 deaths and more than 83,000 cases.

“What this all comes down to is at the apex, can your hospital system manage the number of people coming into the hospital system,” Cuomo said.

McKinsey, the state’s consultant that is regularly running models trying to gauge the number of hospital beds and ventilators that will be needed and when the peak may occur, has estimated that the apex will be at about the end of April, Cuomo said. Until then, the number of hospitalized patients, which stood early Wednesday at 12,226 throughout the state, will continue to rise, he said.

If there is minimal social distancing, projections call for 110,000 hospitalized patients from COVID-19, with the need for about 37,000 ventilators, the governor said. With maximum social distancing, those numbers drop to 75,000 and 25,000, respectively.

In Westchester, while the number of hospitalizations remain relatively low at 268, the number of people who have succumbed to the virus climbed from 25 to 64.

“Right now, we are seeing the spike in deaths that should be troubling to all of us,” Latimer said. “This is not a test; this is not a dry run. It’s real life and for some people life has come to an end.”

There have been just over 37,000 tests conducted of county residents, yielding 10,683 positives, he said.

Latimer said the county will temporarily discontinue providing the breakdown of positive cases in each municipality because there has been a two- to three-day lag in those statistics from the state. In recent days, the distribution of cases across Westchester has closely tracked the population.

The Putnam County Health Department reported Wednesday there were 213 residents with confirmed cases.

Cuomo said that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which has its sprawling campus in Greenburgh and Mount Pleasant, has agreed to create 500,000 COVID-19 test kits for the state to use.