Virus deaths in NYC top 1,000 as city prepares for worse

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The Empire State building is lit in red and white lights to honor emergency medical workers Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Deaths from the coronavirus topped 1,000 in New York City as officials warned that the worst of the virus’ toll is yet to come.

The city’s Health Department reported late Tuesday that nearly 1,100 people have died of the virus in the city. More than 1,500 deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded across New York state.

Data released by the city shows that the disease is having a disproportionate effect in certain neighborhoods, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens.

An emergency field hospital opened Wednesday in Central Park near The Mount Sinai Hospital, days after a temporary hospital in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center began taking patients and a Navy hospital ship docked off Manhattan. Officials are scrambling to add more beds around the city as hospitals become overrun.

The city’s ambulance system and police department are under increasing stress from the pandemic, with nearly a quarter of the city’s emergency medical service workers out sick, according to the Fire Department. In all, 2,800 members of the Fire Department are sidelined, including about 950 of the city’s 4,300 EMS workers.

Nearly 16% of the New York Police Department’s uniformed force is now out sick. More than 1,000 officers have tested positive for the virus.

The virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, has spread rapidly across the globe. It causes mild symptoms in many of those infected, but it can cause severe symptoms or death for some, including older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as respiratory ailments.

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The headline on this story has been corrected to show that deaths in New York City have topped 1,000, not cases.

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