More than 250 New Yorkers were killed by coronavirus over the last 24 hours bringing the state’s death toll past 1,200.

On Monday, state officials reported nearly 7,000 new Covid-19 cases as more than 66,000 New Yorkers have now tested positive for the disease. Over half of those cases have come from New York City where 36,221 have tested positive.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the surging outbreak on Monday and said the state has yet to near the peak of the public health crisis.

‘If you wait to prepare for a storm to hit, it is too late,’ Cuomo said at the Javits Center, a convention building repurposed into a 1000-bed emergency medical center.

‘You have to prepare before the storm hits. And in this case, the storm is when you hit that high point, when you hit that apex. How do you know when you are going to get there? You don’t.’

The state saw a 12% increase in hospitalizations since Sunday, Currently, 9,517 are hospitalized with the virus and 2,352 are in ventilator-equipped ICU rooms. New York is expected to need 140,000 hospital beds to combat the crisis, but it only has 53,000 beds across the state, Cuomo said.

The governor spoke at one of the numerous new hospital sites that have begun popping across the city in an attempt to take the pressure off overwhelmed local hospitals.

Over the weekend, a makeshift field hospital was constructed in Central Park to treat Covid-19 patients. The medical site made of long white tents reportedly has 68 beds and an ICU unit specializing in respiratory care.

The makeshift facility, provided by Mount Sinai Health Systems and non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse, will not take walk-ins, and admissions and transfers will be managed by Mount Sinai, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

More medical reinforcements came to New York on Monday in the form of the USNS Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy ship prepared to take non-coronavirus patients.

In addition to the 1,000 beds, the ship also has 80 ICU beds, 12 operating rooms, a blood bank, a pharmacy, a medical lab, radiology suites and a CT scanner.

‘We’ve all been through a lot in these last few weeks. We needed this boost, we needed this hope that’s being created by our brothers and sisters in the US Navy,’ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said while standing on the pier in front of the docked ship.

‘This ship arriving is not just an example of help arriving in a physical form, it’s not just about the beds and the doctors and the equipment. It’s also about hope.’

As of Monday evening, more than 158,000 Americans have tested positive for Covid-19 as the national death toll nears 3,000.

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