New York City morgues almost full, alert sent for 45K health care workers amid coronavirus outbreak

"New York is in crisis," the governor said Friday.

April 03, 2020, 10:51 PM

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed at least 7,152 people in the United States.

With more than 277,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, the United States has by far the highest national tally in the world, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

More than 1.09 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease. The actual number is believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

Over 58,900 have died across the globe and more than 226,000 people have recovered.

Friday's biggest developments:

Here's how the story developed Friday. All times Eastern.

10 p.m.: Pink tests positive for coronavirus

Singer Pink said on Instagram Friday night she tested positive for coronavirus two weeks ago and has now recovered.

The pop star, who has won three Grammys, and her 3-year-old son, Jameson, were both tested after they started feelings symptoms, with her testing positive for the virus.

"It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible," she wrote. "This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities."

Pink, 40, also announced she will be making $1 million in donations, split equally between the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia, where her mother, Judy Moore, worked there for 18 years, and to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund.

6:56 p.m.: Trump says we'll 'find out' if NY has enough ventilators

Asked at Friday's coronavirus task force briefing if he can provide assurances to New York that the state will have the ventilators they need in the days ahead, President Donald Trump said, "We're gonna find out."

"We happen to think that he is well served with ventilators. We’re gonna find out," Trump said in a callous reply as New Yorkers find themselves at the epicenter of this crisis in the U.S.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has warned that New York is just days away from not having enough ventilators.

PHOTO: President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing as Health and Humand Services Secretary Alex Azar listens at the White House in Washington, April 3, 2020.
President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing as Health and Humand Services Secretary Alex Azar listens at the White House in Washington, April 3, 2020.
Tom Brenner/Reuters

The president continued to place blame on New York state for any shortage: "They should've had more ventilators [ready before the pandemic]."

"We are doing our best for New York," Trump said, before adding, "We have states, we have a lot of states."

6:35 p.m.: US death toll crosses 7,000

The number of deaths from coronavirus continue to skyrocket in the U.S.

The death toll passed 7,000 in the country Friday evening, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 7,077 people have died due to COVID-19.

In addition, there are at least 273,880 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States.

6:29 p.m.: Death toll, cases jump in New York City

New numbers released by the New York City Health Department Friday evening show a significant jump in the number of cases in the city. There have been 56,289 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in NYC -- an increase of 6,582 cases from yesterday’s figure.

There have been 1,867 deaths due to the coronavirus in New York City, an increase of 305 reported deaths in a 24-hour period.

Also, 11,739 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 in New York City.

PHOTO: Cashiers work in a grocery store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn during the COVID-19 pandemic,  on April 2, 2020, in New York City.
Cashiers work in a grocery store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn during the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 2, 2020, in New York City.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

6:09 p.m.: Alabama, Missouri issue stay-at-home order

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey just announced a stay-at-home order for the state effective tomorrow at 5 p.m. CST until April 30. Soon after, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a stay-at-home order, which begins at 12:01 Monday, April 6, and will continue until April 24.

Now just nine states have not issued a formal stay-at-home order: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

Ivey said, "I am convinced that our previous efforts to limit social interaction and reduce the chances of spreading this virus have not been enough. And that's why we are taking this more drastic step."

Ivey said the expected surge in her state is in two to three weeks.

"Our surge of hospitalization will occur in the next two or three weeks," she said. "Those patients are the ones who will become infected in the next few days. Folks, we need to extend our health orders now."

The remaining states had come under pressure to order people to stay home except under certain instances during the pandemic.

"First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I love this state and the people of this state," Parson said in a statement. "The people of this great state clearly define who we are in Missouri, and as Governor, I have no greater responsibility than to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all Missourians."

5:31 p.m.: CDC asking people to wear face coverings outside

The entire country is now being asked to cover their faces when out in public, on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Judd Deere, the White House's deputy press secretary, made the announcement in a tweet.

"@CDCgov is recommending that Americans voluntarily wear a non-medical basic cloth or fabric mask that can be either purchased online or simply made at home," he wrote. "The CDC is NOT recommending the use of medical grade or surgical grade masks."

4:15 p.m.: NYC needs minimum of 2,500 ventilators for next week

As the "epicenter" of the coronavirus crisis with about 25% of the nation's cases, New York City is in desperate need for more supplies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday.

"People are dying. And they need to be saved," he said.

“We are about to hit a huge surge in the coming days," the mayor warned.

PHOTO: A man is brought into Elmhurst Hospital in the Queens neighborhood, which has one of the highest infection rates of coronavirus in the nation, on April 03, 2020, in New York.
A man is brought into Elmhurst Hospital in the Queens neighborhood, which has one of the highest infection rates of coronavirus in the nation, on April 03, 2020, in New York.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

De Blasio said President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, told him Thursday they would send 200,000 N95 masks to New York City's public hospitals, and those masks have since been delivered.

But to get through April and May, New York City needs more resources including 85,000 hospital beds, 45,000 medical staff and a total of 15,000 ventilators, he said.

Shortly after the press conference, an emergency alert was sent to phones in the New York City area asking for licensed health care workers to sign up to help.

PHOTO: Medical workers approach a refrigerator truck being used as a morgue outside of Brooklyn Hospital Center amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 3, 2020, in New York.
Medical workers approach a refrigerator truck being used as a morgue outside of Brooklyn Hospital Center amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 3, 2020, in New York.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

For next week specifically, New York City needs a minimum of 2,500 to 3,000 ventilators. He said there are about 2,000 ventilators left in the state stockpile and called the federal government "the single most important source."

De Blasio commended the governors of New York and New Jersey who he said "took a crucial step" on Friday by ordering private companies to release any stockpiles they have of "crucially needed supplies" including ventilators and personal protective equipment.

"I would urge every state in the union to exercise the same approach," de Blasio said.

If any company or individual tries to resist this new order from the state, de Blasio threatened, "I am authorizing the NYDP, the sheriff's office, the FDNY to use their law enforcement capacity to make sure those items are turned over immediately and brought immediately to where the need is greatest in our hospital system."

PHOTO: Cars pass the Jacob Javits Convention Center Friday, April 3, 2020, in New York.
Cars pass the Jacob Javits Convention Center Friday, April 3, 2020, in New York.
Frank Franklin Ii/AP

De Blasio said the city is bringing in medical personnel from across the country under contract and asking for volunteers, as a part of an "unprecedented "national enlistment effort."

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3:10 p.m.: Anyone close to Trump will get rapid COVID-19 test

A new procedure is in place at the White House as of Friday so that anyone who comes into close proximity with the president or vice president will receive a rapid COVID-19 test, deputy press secretary Judd Deere said.

The White House declined to elaborate on why this policy is being implemented now, other than to say that decisions are made in consultation with the White House physician.

This development comes one day after President Trump received his second negative coronavirus test.

2:55 p.m.: UK Prime Minister to extend his self-isolation

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has tested positive for coronavirus, says he will extend his self-isolation.

The prime minister is one of 38,688 people in the U.K. who have tested positive for COVID-19. Also among those diagnosed with the virus is Charles Prince of Wales -- first in line to the British throne.

PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask is seen leaving Brixton Station, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, London, April 3, 2020.
A woman wearing a protective face mask is seen leaving Brixton Station, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, London, April 3, 2020.
Hannah Mckay/Reuters

The death toll in the U.K. has climbed to 3,605 -- an increase of 684 since Thursday.

Johnson said in a video message, "Everybody may be getting a bit stir crazy, and there may be just a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations. And I just urge you not to do that. Please, please stick with the guidance now. This country has made a huge effort, a huge sacrifice, done absolutely brilliantly well in delaying the spread of the virus. Let's stick with it."

2:35 p.m.: Massachusetts announces nation's 1st test-and-trace initiative

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday announced the creation of a "robust" tracing effort, in collaboration with Partners in Health, to identify individuals who may have come in close contact with coronavirus-positive people.

"Staff will contact recent COVID-19 patients and ensure they're healthy and taking appropriate steps to not spread the virus further," Baker said.

Once an individual has tested positive, the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative will work to gather information about who may have been exposed to the person, and subsequently contact them.

A group of 1,000 people will be asked to provide information on the timing and location of their respective infections.

Baker said the program is the first of its kind in the nation, and he added that he hopes to have the initiative up and running by the end of the month.

Baker also announced that the parking lot at the New England Patriots' Gillette Stadium will be converted to a testing site for first responders. Up to 200 first responders are expected to be tested per day.

1:20 p.m.: New Jersey's death toll climbs to 646

In the last 24 hours, another 113 people died from coronavirus in New Jersey, bringing the state's death toll to 646, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

With 4,372 new diagnosed cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the Garden State now has over 29,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19.

PHOTO: Residents are greeted by medical personnel as Camden County's first public coronavirus drive-thru testing site opens in Camden's Cooper's Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden, N.J., April 1, 2020.
Residents are greeted by medical personnel as Camden County's first public coronavirus drive-thru testing site opens in Camden's Cooper's Poynt Waterfront Park in Camden, N.J., April 1, 2020.
Tom Gralish/AP

"There is no silver bullet we can load to make this go away overnight," the governor said, as he urged New Jersey residents to honor those who have died by staying home.

Murphy said he is signing an executive order directing all flags to be lowered to half-staff effective immediately, and lasting indefinitely, to honor those who have died and those who will die.

"This is one of the greatest tragedies to ever hit our state," Murphy tweeted.

Murphy said UBS is donating 10,000 N95 masks to the state while Tito's Handmade Vodka is sending 432 gallons of hand sanitizer, 3,000 masks and 2,000 gloves.

12:50 p.m.: WHO warns lifting lockdowns early could end up being even worse for economies 

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus -- who called the coronavirus pandemic an "unprecedented crisis" -- issued a warning to countries that are considering easing lockdowns given the considerable economic suffering.

"If countries rush to lift restrictions quickly, the coronavirus could resurge and the economic impact could be more severe and prolonged," he said Friday. "Financing the health response is an essential investment not just in saving lives, but in the longer-term social and economic recovery."

PHOTO: Firefighters in protective suits are seen during an operation to disinfect Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, April 3, 2020.
Firefighters in protective suits are seen during an operation to disinfect Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, April 3, 2020.
China Daily via Reuters

He went on, "The best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the coronavirus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we've spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact."

"We still have a long way to go in this fight," he noted.

Dr. Tedros also acknowledged the rise of domestic violence as victims are stuck indoors with abusers and he urged countries to increase resources for victims.

New York state -- the hardest-hit spot in the U.S. -- has seen an uptick in domestic violence incidents, the governor said Friday.

12:20 p.m.: Mayor predicts DC will reach peak cases by the end of June, early July

PHOTO: A woman visits the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall on April 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
A woman visits the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall on April 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The District of Columbia is forecast to reach peak COVID-19 infections at the end of June or beginning of July, Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday, citing local officials.

Bowser said the projection -- based on the CHIME model -- estimates more than 93,000 residents could be infected with coronavirus over the course of the pandemic. She said the modeling predicts between 220 and 1,000 deaths in D.C., calling it a "tough number to report."

If the forecast holds true, the mayor said the nation's capital will need 5,000 more hospital beds and 1,000 more ventilators.

PHOTO: Customers keep their social distance from each other while waiting in line to enter and shop at a Trader Joe's grocery store in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 2020.
Customers keep their social distance from each other while waiting in line to enter and shop at a Trader Joe's grocery store in Washington, D.C., on March 31, 2020.
Erik S. Lesser/EPA via Shutterstock

11:45 a.m.: 2,935 dead in New York state

In New York -- the state hit hardest by the pandemic -- 102,863 have tested positive for coronavirus and 2,935 people have died, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

The number of deaths in New York increased by nearly 600 from Thursday to Friday, the biggest daily increase.

New York state has by far the most cases and fatalities.

"New York is in crisis," Cuomo said.

PHOTO: Franklin Graham Samaritan's Purse makeshift hospital in New York City on April 1, 2020.
Franklin Graham Samaritan's Purse makeshift hospital in New York City on April 1, 2020.
Steve Sanchez/Pacific Press/REX via Shutterstock

More ventilators are still needed, the governor said, stressing that the machines are the difference between life and death for coronavirus patients in intensive care units.

Cuomo said he is signing an executive order allowing the National Guard to take ventilators and personal protection equipment from hospitals in the state that don't need them now and redeploy the devices to other parts of the state.

PHOTO: Medical workers are seen moving a body from the sidewalk into a refrigerator truck outside of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the borough of Brooklyn on April 3, 2020 in New York City.
Medical workers are seen moving a body from the sidewalk into a refrigerator truck outside of Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in the borough of Brooklyn on April 3, 2020 in New York City.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Those hospitals will be reimbursed or the ventilators will be returned, Cuomo said.

"I'm not going to let people die because we didn't redistribute ventilators," he said.

Cuomo also implored manufacturers in the state to begin making personal protection equipment.

On a more positive note, the governor said 20,000 health professionals volunteered "in a matter of days" to come help New York.

"When our curve is over," Cuomo vowed, "New Yorkers are going to take what we've amassed, we're going to take our equipment, we're going to take our personnel, we're going to take our knowledge and we will go to any community that needs help."

11:12 a.m. Temporary hospitals at US convention centers will now treat COVID-19 patients

The U.S. Department of Defense announced Friday that three temporary medical facilities at convention centers in Dallas, New Orleans and New York, which were originally intended to treat non-coronavirus patients, will now also take those diagnosed with the disease.

"At the request of FEMA, the Department of Defense will expand its medical support to include COVID-19 positive patients at the Javits Federal Medical Station (FMS) in New York City, the Morial FMS in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Kay Bailey Hutchinson FMS in Dallas, Texas," the Pentagon said in a statement Friday. "These three DoD-supported locations will now provide support to COVID-19 positive patients in convalescent care, as well as low-acuity patients. These patients, who require a lower level of medical care, must first be screened at a local hospital."

The facilities were initially set up to ease the strain on overloaded hospitals and expand overall capacity.

"As it turns out, we don't have non-COVID people to any great extent in the hospitals," Cuomo said Friday. "So we wanted to turn Javits from non-COVID to COVID."

PHOTO: Jacob Javits Center is now ready to begin treating coronavirus patients March 27, 2020.
Jacob Javits Center is now ready to begin treating coronavirus patients March 27, 2020.
Matthew Mcdermott/Polaris

The Department of Defense said it is also making changes to the USNS Comfort's process for taking in patients. Screening for care on the U.S. Navy hospital ship docked in New York City will now occur pier-side "in an effort to reduce the backlog at some of the nearby New York hospitals." A patient will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test in order to be admitted, but rather each individual will be screened by temperature and a short questionnaire.

Previously, a patient had to go to a local hospital, be referred to the USNS Comfort and receive COVID-19 screening prior to being transferred there.

"This assistance will further unburden the local hospital and ambulance systems in these areas, allowing them to focus on the more serious COVID-19 cases," the Pentagon said. "We will immediately implement this action and work with local officials in each area on the details of patient arrival."

9:45 a.m.: Queen Elizabeth to address pandemic in rare special broadcast this weekend

Queen Elizabeth II has recorded a special broadcast to the United Kingdom and the televised address, which was recorded at Windsor Castle, will be broadcast Sunday at 8 p.m. local time, according to the statement from the royal household.

It will be just the fourth time in the queen's 68-year reign that she has delivered a special address to the nation.

The queen's oldest child and heir apparent to the British throne, Prince Charles, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March.

9:15 a.m.: US cuts 701K jobs in March, unemployment rate jumps to 4.4%

U.S. employers slashed 701,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate climbed to 4.4% from 3.5%, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday's report offered more details on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the U.S. labor market.

PHOTO: People queue to enter Payomatic, a business that offers check cashing, as unemployment claim figures were released, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manhattan, New York City, April 2, 2020.
People queue to enter Payomatic, a business that offers check cashing, as unemployment claim figures were released, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Manhattan, New York City, April 2, 2020.
Andrew Kelly/Reuters

About 90% of the U.S. population is under stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic and many businesses are closed. At least 45 U.S. states have issued or announced statewide closures of all non-essential businesses to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

8:43 a.m.: Florida-bound cruise ship confirms 12 positive cases

At least 12 people aboard the Florida-bound cruise ship Coral Princess have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Those infected include seven guests and five crew, according to Princess Cruises, the California-based cruise line that operates the ship.

Princess Cruises said it "proactively" collected 13 test samples from the ship and sent them to a lab in Barbados on March 31 "in response to a reported small cluster of cases of respiratory illness and in an abundance of caution."

The Coral Princess is scheduled to arrive in Florida's Port Everglades on Saturday.

7:59 a.m.: New York City morgues are running out of space

New York City morgues are almost full amid a mounting death toll from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency records reviewed by ABC News.

The city has ordered 85 refrigerated trucks from the U.S. military to use as makeshift morgues hold the dead. The trucks are expected to arrive by mid-April.

PHOTO: Refrigerated tractor-trailers that can be used by hospitals for makeshift morgues are seen during the coronavirus pandemic, in Icahn Stadium parking lot on Randall's Island in New York City, New York, March 31, 2020.
Refrigerated tractor-trailers that can be used by hospitals for makeshift morgues are seen during the coronavirus pandemic, in Icahn Stadium parking lot on Randall's Island in New York City, New York, March 31, 2020.
Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

ABC News has reached out to the U.S. Department of Defense as well as New York City's office of chief medical examiner for comment.

So far, at least 1,562 people in New York City have died from COVID-19, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

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