In New York, where 2,468 people have died from the virus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state has about six days left before it runs out of ventilators.
“It’s like watching a slow-moving hurricane across the country, where you know the path that it’s taking. Why not deploy the national resources and just stay ahead of the hurricane?” he said Thursday.
“It’s very simple: A person comes into the ICU unit. They need the ventilator, or they die. It’s that basic proposition,” Cuomo said.
At least 245,559 Americans have been infected and all states but Wyoming have reported deaths.
“Just to everybody out there across the country — when we say no gatherings of 10, we want to be clear — if you have a family of 10, we don’t want you to be split up,” Birx said, adding the guidelines mean people should be having “no dinner parties, no cocktail parties.”
“I don’t understand why that’s not happening,” he said Thursday. “If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that,” Fauci said. “We really should be.”
Most states are under a stay-at-home order, except ten — Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — which have not issued one yet. President Donald Trump has said he is not planning to issue a nationwide order.
in Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp announced a stay-at-home order Thursday, the state’s Department of Health said new data shows the measures are vital.
“Until now, containing the spread of Covid-19 has been based on early detection and isolation of people with symptoms of the virus,” DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey said.
“Social distancing and keeping people apart from each other are now more than just recommendations; they are the best weapons we have to stop the spread of Covid-19,” Toomey said.
Virus can be spread through breathing, experts say
Trump also said his administration would soon release new guidelines on wearing face masks in efforts to help curb the spread of the virus.
The guidance wouldn’t require all Americans to wear face coverings, Trump said.
“I don’t think they’ll be mandatory because some people don’t want to do that,” he said, adding that Americans who do want to wear face coverings can “decide for themselves.”
“While the current (coronavirus) specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing,” according to a letter written by Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in consultation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also issued new guidance Thursday to reduce the spread of the virus in long-term care facilities.
That guidance included screening staff for symptoms and starting temperature checks as well as instructing staff members to wear a face mask when inside the facility.
Residents should also cover their noses and mouths when staff are in their room. “Residents can use tissues for this,” the guidance said. “They could also use cloth, non-medical masks when those are available.”
New York City’s EMTs face tough decisions
In the hardest part of the country, new guidance shares a grim glimpse into New York City’s dire circumstances.
New York City Emergency Medical Service (EMS) teams who cannot find or restart a pulse while administering CPR on adult cardiac arrest patients are instructed not to bring those patients to hospitals, according to a memo obtained by CNN and the chair of the regional emergency medical advisory committee familiar with the edict.
The new guidance — issued as a temporary change in response to the pandemic — is in place to help prevent the spread of the virus to EMS workers.
“In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of NYPD,” the memo states.
The city’s hospitals, struggling to respond to patients constantly streaming in, have said a shortage of personal protective equipment is putting the medical workers on the front lines at risk of contracting the virus.
One third-year resident there said she goes to work feeling “like a sheep going to slaughter.”
“My colleagues and I are writing our last will and testament. I’m 28 years old,” Dr. Laura Ucik said. “We fear that we may not survive this pandemic and yet we show up every day to this hospital to take care of our community. We’re running out of (personal protective equipment), we’re running out of pain medicine, we’re running out of sedatives, we’re running out of oxygen masks.”
CNN’s Jen Christensen, Debra Goldschmidt, Mark Morales,and Joe Sutton contributed to this report.