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New York state nears 1,000 coronavirus deaths

A man wears a face mask to fend off the coronavirus as he rides a bike past a Thank You sign posted on a playground fence across the street from the Elmhurst Hospital Center, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. A man wears a face mask to fend off the coronavirus as he rides a bike past a Thank You sign posted on a playground fence across the street from the Elmhurst Hospital Center, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. | Photo: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer.

By MICHAEL R. SISAK and MARINA VILLENEUVE Associated Press
Updated: March 29, 2020 02:32 PM
Created: March 29, 2020 01:08 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — New York state's coronavirus death toll is nearing 1,000.

The state accounts for more than 40% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S.

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The number of disease-related deaths in the state jumped Sunday to 965 from 728 the day before, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The vast majority have been in New York City. Figures released Sunday morning showed 678 coronavirus deaths in the city, which continues to be the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.

Meanwhile, new data is showing which parts of the city are being hit the hardest by disease and that nearly a quarter of the people who’ve died of coronavirus in the state were nursing home residents.

Here are the latest coronavirus developments in New York:

POOR NEIGHBORHOODS HIT HARD

Coronavirus is overwhelming some of New York City’s poorest neighborhoods, according to new data released by the city.

Queens accounts for 32% of the city’s more than 30,000 confirmed cases as of Saturday — more than any other borough.

Neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona, which are generally poor, densely packed and have large non-English speaking populations, have been among the hardest hit, according to a city map showing percent ranges of people testing positive for the disease, also known as COVID-19. In those areas, between 69% and 86% of the tests done have come back positive.

A hospital in Elmhurst has been overrun with coronavirus cases. One day last week, 13 hospital patients with the virus died.

Statistics on coronavirus cases do not reflect everyone who may have the virus, because many people have been told to manage their illness at home and are not getting tested.

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TRAVEL ADVISORY CONCERNS

On Saturday, after saying he was weighing the idea of a mandatory quarantine for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, President Donald Trump tweeted that instead he’d issue advisory urging people in those states to avoid any nonessential travel for two weeks.

New York City Mayor Bill de De Blasio said he worried about the advisory’s impact on families with members in New York and other places who were looking to reunite.

“We’ve got to respect, in the middle of a crisis, families have a right to be together,” de Blasio said.

All 50 U.S. states have reported some cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, but New York state has the most, with over 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care. DWINDLING SUPPLIES

About 20% of coronavirus cases in New York City have led to hospitalizations, putting a strain on personnel and resources such as ventilators and protective gear.

Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his fears that without reinforcements the city will run out of masks, gowns and other hospital supplies by next Sunday and ventilators sooner.

With the expected peak of cases in the city still two to three weeks away, de Blasio told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the city also needs new waves of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.

“We need to get them relief,” de Blasio said. “They can't keep up at this pace for weeks and weeks and weeks ahead and expect to save lives the way we need them to."

NURSING HOME DEATHS

Through Friday, 24% of coronavirus deaths in New York state were among nursing home residents, according to the state Department of Health figures released to The Associated Press.

The state said there were more than 740 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in licensed nursing homes at 129 of the state's 613 nursing homes, which serve more than 100,000 residents.

As of Friday, 122 nursing home residents in the state have died of the disease. In less than two weeks, the virus has claimed seven lives at one Long Island retirement community, with the latest death coming Saturday.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

— With schools and many day care centers closed, states, local governments and philanthropists are scrambling to provide child care for parents who are needed on the front lines of the virus fight.

— College students were sent home because of the coronavirus are taking advantage of their last days on campus to forge a few more memories.

— James Dolan, the owner of the New York Knicks and Rangers, has tested positive for COVID-19.

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Villeneuve reported from Albany.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak


(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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