Some 40,000 health care workers have stepped up from retirement or the private sector to form New York’s coronavirus “surge” force, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
Cuomo called earlier this month for qualified volunteers to join the ranks, and New York’s newest heroes responded in droves.
The team counts some 2,265 doctors, 16,367 registered nurses and 160 respiratory therapists among its number, Cuomo said.
“It’s a big, big deal,” he said. “You can create beds. You can find the equipment. You have to have the staff.”
The surging force will help give overtaxed health care workers on the front lines a breather, and rotate in as needed when they fall ill, Cuomo said, as the number of confirmed cases topped 30,000, with the worst still to come.
Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a similar call to bolster the city’s own health reserve in the five boroughs last week.
Since then, the volunteers have streamed in, with 2,994 new faces registering to join New York’s kindest in the fight — 1,000 of whom signed up during the first day, City Hall stats show.
That means there are now roughly 12,000 doctors, nurses and other health professionals in the Big Apple’s auxiliary program, according to a city Office of Emergency Management spokesman.
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