A CBS News producer died from COVID-19 on Sunday as New York City’s death toll climbed to 678.
CBS announced the loss of their ‘beloved’ CBS News colleague Maria Mercader, in a statement shared on Twitter.
The 54-year-old Emmy winner died from COVID-19 while being treated at a New York hospital. Mercader, who worked for CBS for nearly three decades, had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since the last week in February.
There are more than 123,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States with more than 2,100 deaths. In New York City, where one New Yorker dies nearly every nine minutes, there are more than 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 678 deaths.
On Sunday, Gov Andrew Cuomo ordered New York’s non-essential workers to stay in place for another two weeks as cases climbed by more than 7,000 overnight and the death toll hit 965.
The governor said the state now has more than 59,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 8,000 hospitalized and 2,000 people in ICUs.
‘I don’t think you look at those numbers and conclude that nothing less than thousands of people will pass away,’ Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the US Navy hospital ship, the Comfort, will be in New York on Monday. The ship will provide an additional 1,000 hospital beds as hospitals are expected to become overwhelmed within the next week.
As the city awaits the ship, New Yorkers also were mourning the loss of the first Catholic priest in the US to succumb to the virus.
COVID-19 claimed the Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, 49, who served as a pastor of St. Brigid’s Church in Brooklyn.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the head of the diocese in Brooklyn, called the passing of Ortiz-Garay ‘a tremendous loss for the Diocese of Brooklyn,’ reports Fox News.
‘Father Jorge was a great priest, beloved by the Mexican people and a tireless worker for all of the faithful in Brooklyn and Queens,’ DiMarzio said.
‘It is unfortunate that he was overcome by the coronavirus because of underlying health issues.’
Ortiz-Garay was born in Mexico City and became a priest in the U.S. after working as a lawyer.
The US leads the world in reported cases with more than 125,000. There were more than 2,100 deaths recorded by Sunday afternoon.
All 50 states have reported some cases of the virus but New York has the most, with more than 59,000 positive tests for the illness.
The governor also said that he supports the president’s decision to issue a travel advisory for New York but assured New Yorkers that: ‘This is not a lockdown.’
Trump had initially considered ordering a quarantine for the coronavirus hotspots of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but abandoned that idea Saturday night.
The president announced in a tweet that the quarantine would not go ahead and a travel advisory would be issued instead. The travel advisory urges residents of the tri-state area to immediately avoid any nonessential travel for two weeks.
‘I know we feel under attack. Yes, New York is the epicenter and these are different times and many people are frightened,’ Cuomo said, referring to the travel advisory and Rhode Island’s dramatic tactics of pulling over drivers with New York plates.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Valerie Edwards