As New York City fights to accommodate the surge of coronavirus cases, new data from the New York City police department suggests that the virus has also been sweeping across the police force.
On Wednesday afternoon, the police department informed CNN that 197 police officers – and an additional 39 civilian staffers – had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases among NYPD officers has nearly doubled in the last 48 hours, according to NBC News.
In total, about one hundred officers had tested positive for coronavirus as of Monday, with the department informing the news agency that approximately 6.6% of the workforce, including civilian staffers, had called in sick.
According to CNN, about 3,200 hundred officers in total were out sick Wednesday, a figure that represents almost 9% of the city’s police force. NBC News reports that NYPD employees were calling in sick at a rate “nearly double” that of the typical day.
As of Wednesday evening, the city government has reported 20,011 total coronavirus cases, with about 2,100 of those cases having been reported within the last eight hours, reports the New York Post. In total, 81 people in the city died from the coronavirus on Wednesday.
According to The New York Times, 3,922 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus since the outbreak began in the city, and a total of 280 people have died.
In a briefing obtained by the news agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimated that the city’s approximately 1,800 intensive care beds would be at capacity by Friday.
A spokesperson for New York-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in America, also confirmed to the Times that they had started to split ventilators among patients in an effort to conserve resources.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced that hospitals would try splitting ventilators as an experiment aimed at helping two patients use just one breathing machine at the same time.
“It’s difficult to perform, it’s experimental, but at this point we have no alternative,” said Cuomo. “Picture two hospital beds, two people in bed, one ventilator between the two of them, but with two sets of tubes, two sets of pipes going to the two patients.”
“Again it’s experimental, but necessity is the mother of invention, and we are working on this as we speak,” said Cuomo. “Life is options, and we don’t have any other options.”
The Times reports that during a 24-hour period at Elmhurst Hospital, 13 patients have died, and the hospital now has a cooling truck parked outside in case they need space to store additional bodies.
Politico reports that the city’s morgues can hold up to 900 bodies, and that the Department of Homeland Security has been informed that morgues in the city are approaching capacity. However, a spokesperson for the chief medical examiner of New York City told the news agency the city wasn’t concerned about morgue capacity.
“We have the ability to expand pretty dramatically,” said the spokesperson, reports the news agency. “If you look back at what we did during 9/11, we have the ability to create mobile stations that allow us to house bodies if we run out of space.”