U.S. coronavirus deaths reach 3,000 mark as crisis escalates

As the pandemic claims more lives, massive numbers of new COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the nation

SEATTLE, WA – FEBRUARY 29: Healthcare workers transport a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As of early Tuesday, the United States has now lost more than 3,000 people to the quickly-spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

The most recent numbers came via the tracker at the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. There are also 164,610 confirmed cases in the U.S. during the same timeframe.

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Globally, there are more than 788,000 cases and nearly 39,000 deaths.

Meanwhile, large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago continued to struggle to keep up with the skyrocketing numbers and find adequate health care solutions and equipment to accommodate a spike in new patients. Those three cities are all rolling out or planning to roll out, makeshift hospitals to meet the demand.

New York has converted a portion of Central Park into a temporary hospital and is also planning to use the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, to treat coronavirus cases. The Comfort, which is docked in New York harbor and expected to start taking patients as early as Tuesday, adds 1,000 more hospital beds and 12 operating rooms.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also asking for nurses and doctors in less hard-hit states to come to New York to help with the devastating outbreak, according to USA Today.

“In this battle, the troops are our healthcare professionals,” Cuomo told the newspaper. “We need relief. We need relief for nurses working 12-hour shifts. We need relief for doctors. Help us now and we will return the favor.”

“The number of beds we had in the beginning of March has to triple by May,” Mayor Bill de Blasio added. “It’s a daunting task, but we got a big, big boost.”

In Illinois, Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, which is the biggest conference center in North America, will be transformed into a care facility to treat up to 3,000 coronavirus patients.

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters that the state would need to ramp up more than 50,000 additional hospital beds to accommodate the outbreak, and warned that the peak in California is still a few weeks away.

As large cities grapple with the need for more hospital beds, masks and equipment, state and local leaders across the country have increasingly issued stay at home orders and curfews. On Monday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay at home order that takes effect immediately and runs until June 10.