New York City is the new coronavirus epicenter with one third of all US cases, Mayor de Blasio says

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Medical workers and other officials gather outside of the Brooklyn Hospital Center where testing for the coronavirus has started on March 19, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

New York City accounts for roughly a third of all the coronavirus cases in the nation with 5,151 confirmed infections as of 10 a.m. Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

“We are now the epicenter of this crisis,” he said at a press conference, adding that 29 residents have died. 

He said he’s been warning people that the city will run out of protective gear for medical workers in two or three weeks if cases keep rising at this rate. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state expects COVID-19 cases to peak in about 45 days. State and local officials have been scrambling to get needed supplies and find extra hospital beds. Cuomo says the state it expects 110,000 people to be hospitalized with the virus at its peak; the state only has 53,000 beds.

Earlier Friday, Cuomo ordered nonessential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home, and put in place stringent new restrictions on New Yorkers starting Sunday.

“When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. Cases across the state surged by 2,950 overnight to 7,102, he said. “This is not life as usual. Accept it. Realize it and deal with it.”

This news is breaking. Please check back for updates.

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